Skip to main content

Full text of "Rome and Jerusalem: A Study in Jewish Nationalism"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

"^ C\(t 



7 •, 





Lee M. Friedman '93 


I 4^Unk Jra 








^ ■ 

,\ ' 










Jud z:^C:>o. 37. %X 


OCT 21 19()»j / 

Copyright, 1918, by 



It was Ruskin who divided all books into two 
classes: into books of the hour and books for all 
time. To the first belong the great majority of 
books; to the second, the few and chosoi. To the 
latter belongs Rome and Jerusalem. It is as timely 
to-day as it was fifty-six years ago, when it first saw |_^ 
the light of day; and, in a sense, even more timely, 
for Rome and Jerusalem belongs to the very few 
books which are written in advance of their time. 

To-day, when Zionism has grown from a mere 
dream in the minds of a few, to a great ideal which 
is the goal of a great organization, and Jewish 
Nationalism has become a mighty force in Jewish 
life, the translator feels confident that an English 
version of Rome and JeruscieTf^ the herald of 
Nationalism and trumpet of Zionism, will certainly 
find a welcome reception among those to whom the 
future of the Jewish people is a matter of deep con- 
cern. For the book bears a message to the Zionist 
and non-Zionist alike. To the first it supplies the 
the philosophic basis and the depth of thought which 
are essential for the conception as well as the realiza- 
tion of his ideal. To the second it furnishes a broader 
view of Judaism and of the Jewish problem and its 



The translation has been a labor of love. My 
thanks are due to the Publishers, who have encour- 
aged me to undertake the work, and especially to my 
friend, Dr. B. A. Elzas, who read the manuscript 
and offered valuable suggestions. 

Metek Waxman. 

New York, April, 1918. 



Moses Hess and His Time 9 

life of Hess 18 

The Philosophy of Hess 94, 

Author's Preface 35 

First Letter. — ^The return home — Jewish women — The 
source of the historical religion — ^Family love — ^Mater 
dolorosa 43 

Secoicd Letter. — ^Thoughts on death and resurrection — 
Family tombs — Kindred souls— Jewish and Hindu saints 
—Schopenhauer — The end of days — The Sabbath of 
History 46 

Thdid Letter. — Immortality — Rabbi Jochanan — Nachman- 
ides — Messianic travails — Pater noster — Solidarity — 
The call of France and the rumbling of the reaction- 
aries 50 

Fourth Letter. — German Anti-Semitism — Patriotic ro- 
manticists and philosophic bookdealers — Otto Wigand — 
Berthold Auerbach — ^Moleschott — ^Dr. Gallavardin — Re- 
form and Jewish noses — A photographic picture- 
Hebrew prayers — Patriotism — My grandfather — Our 
Mother Rachel — National sorrow — ^The Black Sabbath 56 

Fifth Letisr* — Retrospect — The Damascus Affair — ^A cry 
of anguish — Mamserbilbul, i.e.. Blood Accusation — ^Hep, 
Hep — The escape into France — Arnold Ruge — Na- 
poleon — ^An honest German — Teutomaniacs — Jefferson 
• — ^Fatherlands and Sovereigns — Ubi bene ibi Patria — 
The Jewish incognito— The religion of death— Raise 
your standard hi^, my people 67 

Sixth Letter. — The noble representatives of the German 
spirit — Patriotic Jews*— The historian Graetz — ^Mercier's 
Essai sur la Litterature Juive — Autumn and Spring 
equinoxes of universal history and its storms— Sabbatal 
Zevi — Chasidim — Natural and historical religion — The 
Jewish Mother — Victor Huaro— Boerne, Baruch, Itzig . 78 




SivsKTH Lbttbr. — ^The Refonn trick and the uncxitical 
reaction — ^Luther and Mendelssohn — ^The rationalistic 
double — ^The key to the religion of the future—The 
three epochs in the devdopment of the Jewish spirit — 
Restoration of the Jewish State 99 

BiOHTH LcTTER. — ^Xhc Nco-Hebraic literature — ^Luasato, 
Rappoport, Frankel, Krodunal, Sachs and Heine on 
Judidi Halevi — ^Mendelssohn and the Modernists — Schorr 
— Sectarians without sects — Salvador — ^Fusionists and 
Freemasons — Hirsch — The pretended calling of the 
Jew in exile 106 

* NiiTTH LcTiER. — A dilemma — ^The sacred history of man- 
kind — Our allies — ^The unity of the human genus — Races 
and foUc types — ^The organism of mankind . . . .118 

Tenth Letter. — ^Another dilemma — ^Experimental sciences 
—Philosophy and Religion — ^Progress and periodic cir- 
culation — ^A genetic comparison of the or^inic, cosmic 
life with the social — ^Morid necessity or holiness — Epochs 
of social evolution: the paleontolo^cal times of the for- 
mation of the embryo^ birth period and birth travidl, 
age of maturity 1S7 

Elevestth Letter. — Regenerated Judaism and the sacri- 
ficial cult — Two thousand year yearning of the nation 
for a new center in Zion — ^Patriotic songs and prayers — 
An old legend — Signs of the times — The time of return 
approaches — ^The Eastern Question and the Jews — ^A 
Frenchman's enthusiastic appeal ....... 141 

Twelfth Letter. — ^The beginning of the end — Solidari^ of 
the Jews — Philanthropic illusions — The social annual 
kingdom — ^The nurses of progress — ^The faithfid watch- 
men of the sacred sepulchre of Jewish nationality — 
The last catastrophe 160 


I. Hellenes and Hebrews 179 

II. Christ and Spinoza . 186 

III. The Genetic View of the World 9fil 

*IV. The Last Antagonism 316 

V. The Last Race Rule 3U 

VI. A Caiapter of History 227 

Notes 235 



Moses Hess and His Time 

Among the many notable Jews which the nine- 
teenth century produced, who have profoundly in- 
fluenced the course of events of the world history in 
general, and of Jewry in particular, Moses Hess 
holds a prominent place. His services on behalf of 
the Jewish National Movement, he having been the 
first to supply Jewish Nationalism with a philosophic 
basis, undoubtedly entitle him to such a place. But 
his original contribution to Jewish thought, his rais- 
ing of the Jewish view to the dignity of a world view, 
elevate him to a much higher plane. Hess, like the 
Prophets of old, was ahead of his times, and saw 
dreams and visions in the distant future. And though 
his own generation did not manifest a proper appre- 
ciation of his ideas, still as time passed on and the 
seeds which he sowed have gradually borne fruit, and 
the Jewish National Movement, of which he was the 
Prophet, became a vital force in the life of world 
Jewry, the writings of Hess have attracted more and 
more attention. It is especially interesting at the 
present moment, when we are in the grip of a world 
war, and are expecting events which may have a last- 
ing effect on the future of Jews and Judaism, to 


study the words of this thinker, to whom Judaism is 
more than mere dogmatism and Jewish Nationalism 
more than a striving toward the establishment of a 
petty political State, but both combined, forming a 
mighty intellectual, spiritual, and social force in the 
life of humanity in general, and Jewry in particular. 
Yet with all his originality, Hess was, after all, a 
child of his time; and in his book Rome and Jerusa^ 
lem are mirrored all the different tendencies of the 
age, so that in order to grasp its full importance, 
we must have a bird's-eye view of all the currents, 
political and intellectual, which swayed the general 
and Jewish life of that period. 

The first half of the nineteenth century was a tur- 
bulent time for Germany. It was the period during 
which the gradual genesis of the German Empire and 
the birth of its Constitution took place. And, as in 
all periods of generation, struggle was its chief fea- 
ture. The foundation for the strivings toward unity 
and democracy was laid by Napoleon who, through 
his Confederacy of the South German States, and 
their model Constitutional government, proved to the 
Germans the value of these two political boons. The 
youth of Germany, responding to the call to arms in 
the War of Liberation against Napoleon, hoped to 
liberate Germany not only from foreign rule, but 
also from petty tyranny and autocracy. 

They were, however, bitterly disappointed in their 
hopes. The Holy Alliance, the dominating spirit 
of which was Mettemich, strove with all the power 


at its disposal to obstruct these tendencies. It was 
to its interest to keep Grermanj split into small 
States^ so as to avoid the rise of the people against 
their rulers. It therefore attempted to perpetuate 
this division by incorporating it in the Articles of 
the German Confederation which were forced upon 
Grermany by Mettemich. And thus the struggle 

The strugglers were of two different types, the 
Conservatives or Nationalists, and the Liberals or 
Radicals. The Nationidists, led originally by Tum- 
vater Jahn (mentioned frequently by Hess in his let- 
ters), the one who founded the gymnastic societies 
known as Tumvereinefi^ were extreme chauvinists 
and reactionary in their tendencies, with the excep- 
tion of their demand for a constitutional govern- 
ment. The Liberals, influenced by the French ideals 
of libevtJff«0qMiity and fraternity, were mentally of 
a revolutionary attitude. In the thirties, there was 
added to the political influence of France also the 
social. The rise of a laboring class, as a result of 
the development of industry, brought in its wake a 
new problem, the economic. The theories which at- 
tempt to flnd the solution to this problem by pro- 
posing a change in the distribution of wealth, and 
later became known as Socialism, found many ad- 
herents in Germany. There was, of course, no hard 
and fast line of division between the various tenden- 
cies. All kinds of dreamers and visionaries found a 
hearing. Their common enemy was the autocratic 
government. Even later, when Socialism began to 


crystallize itself as a distinct class movement, it still 
united forces in the political struggle with the Lib- 
erals. The center of both wings, the Nationalists 
and the Liberals, were the Universities. It was the 
intellectual class, the professors, students, writers 
of all stamps and brands, who were the leaders in 
this popular struggle, and mostly on the Liberal side. 
The government sought to repress the movement, 
but the more it was repressed, th^ more it spread 
among the masses. The Liberal movement reached 
its height in the forties, and culminated in the Revo- 
lution of 1848. This Revolution, however, ended in 
a failure. It satisfied only the Nationalistic claims. 
It brought Germany a step nearer to unification, 
and introduced constitutional government, but the 
Radicals, who had expected a complete overthrow 
of Monarchy, and the Socialists, who awaited the 
approach of the Social Revolution, despaired of their 
aims, and turned to other activities. Some were ex- 
iled from Germany; among them was Hess. The 
trend of German life after 1848 was more of a 
Nationalistic type, which finally culminated in the 
unification of Germany in 1870. 

The political struggle was only the outward ex- 
pression of an inner conflict of different intellectual 
currents. The intellectual aspect of Germany in the 
last three decades of the first half of the century 
presented a veritable eddy of ideas, tendencies, and 
spiritual movements. The center of the field was 
held by Hegelianism. Of all the Grerman philosoph- 
ical systems, there was none which influenced the 


course of political and social events so profoundly 
as this. Hegel's great contribution to human 
thought is his application of the concept of evolu- 
tion to life and thought. His Dialectics is nothing 
but a property of thought, in virtue of which each 
particular thought passes over into another. And 
when applied to life, it supplies a view which looks 
upon each particular thing as belonging together 
with all other things. Hegel saw in history a con- 
tinual unfolding and growth, and not a mere suc- 
cession of stable and fixed events. 

It is this central thought of Hegelianism, which 
stirred young Germany to action, Hegel himself, it 
is true, arrived at different conclusions in his politi- 
cal philosophy, and saw in the Bureaucratic State 
the highest expression of the Spirit^ but his younger 
followers drew opposite conclusions from his own 
philosophy. If history means growth and change, 
then the old State institutions handed down from 
Mediaeval times cannot remain in their integrity, and, 
consequently, a demand for changes was voiced by 
young Germany, the followers of the great philoso- 

A second factor in the intellectual unrest of Ger- 
many at the time was the religious question. Hegel's 
religious philosophy, like his political, gave rise to 
controversies. The question arose: "Is religion 
compatible with philosophy or not?" This question 
divided the Hegelian camp into two, the right and 
left wings. The height of the conflict was reached 
with the appearance of a book by David Friedrich 


Strauss^ The Life of Jesm, where the central figure 
of Christianity is stripped of all its divine attire' and 
relegated to the sphere of mythology. This book 
immediately became the center of a storm which 
raised many bitter controversies. On the one hand, 
it caused a strong defense of Christianity, and, on 
the other, it gave rise to more and more extreme 
ideas about religion. In the left camp, Christianity, 
and with it all religion, was vigorously attacked, and 
its foundations undermined. 

But when the old religious ideals were being de- 
throned, something had to be put in its place to 
satisfy the craving of men for worship. It was then 
that Feuerbach stepped forth with his idea of Man. 
The salvation and elevation of Man is, according to 
him, to become the religious ideal. Humanity should 
take the place of Divinity. These ideas gave rise, 
in the forties, to the Humanitarian movement, with 
its cosmopolitan tendencies. But how really humani- 
tarian the movement was, can be seen from the atti- 
tude of Bauer, one of the leading humanitarians, 
toward the emancipation of the Jews. He pub- 
lished, in 1842, a pamphlet about the Jfidenfrage^ in 
which he vigorously opposes Jewish emancipation, on 
the ground that the Jews, by adhering to their re- 
ligion, excluded themselves from emancipation. The 
words of Hess that ^^ure human nature," of which 
the humanitarians boast, is nothing but ^^pure Teu- 
tonic nature," characterize the real essence of their 

A third element in the intellectual leaven of Ger- 


many wag the rise of the demand for social justice. 
The growth of industry in European countries 
brought to the front the glaring injustice done to 
the exploited classes and set people thinking about 
Society and its institutions. The resulting theories 
were known as Socialism, Communism, and Anarch- 
ism. They often conflicted with each other. Some 
came to the conclusion that, in order to remedy the 
evil, a strong socialization of all human forces is 
necessary. Others preached extreme Individualism 
and the removal of all control; and still others ex- 
pounded a doctrine of moderate Individualism in 
the form of Communism. Thus intellectual Grer^ 
many formed a motley of ideas, Liberalism, Human- 
itarianism, Socialism and Anarchism, all mingled into 
a kaleidoscopic phenomenon of conceptions, where 
different intellectual currents crossed each other, 
touched each other and diverged from each other. 
They had, however, one thing in common, and that 
was the striving toward the political liberation of 

In this whirlwind of ideas and tendencies, Hess 
lived and acted. He reacted to all of them, and these 
various ideas are mirrored in his book Rome and Je- 
ruscAem. A general survey was necessary in order 
to understand his main* thoughts. 

The unrest and the struggle going on in the gen- 
eral Grerman world was strongly reflected in the Jew- 
ish world, and there accentuated by circumstances. 
It worked havoc in the ranks of Jewry, and brought 


about a disintegration of its vital forces. The move- 
ment of enlightenment, started by Mendelssohn and 
his group of intellectuals in the last part of the 
eighteenth century, which had for its aim the har- 
monization of Judaism with the modern rationalistic 
spirit, finally culminated, in the second and third 
decade of the nineteenth century, in a tremendous 
impetus for assimilation. 

The brief Napoleonic reign in Germany freed the 
Jews from the shackles of the mediaeval ages; it re- 
moved them from the walls of the Ghettos and placed 
them, for a time, on an equal footing with the rest 
of the inhabitants. During this brief period the en- 
tire Jewish economic and educational position was 
changed. The petty traders and laborers among 
them diminished, and their place was taken by mer- 
chants and professional men, many of whom were 
admitted to high positions in social life and partici- 
pated in Grerman culture. After the War of Libera- 
tion, which brought but little relief to the Jews, their 
legal restrictions having been mostly restored, the 
position of these half-emancipated Jews became pre- 
carious. They refused to be forced back in the legal 
and social Ghetto from which they had just emerged, 
and, as a result, many sought refuge from their ab- 
normal position in conversion. 

There were, however, those who did not despair 
entirely and hoped to continue, by means of organ- 
ized effort, the struggle for emancipation and at the 
same time to stem the tide of conversion. The re- 
sult of these efforts was the Reform movement, which 


took shape in the thirties and which reached its cli- 
max in the following decades. To accomplish the 
latter aim, namely, to bring Judaism in accord with 
the progressive spirit of the age, these people thought 
that all that was necessary was to spiritualize its 
content, and to abolish as many ceremonies and laws 
as possible. As for obtaining emancipation, it was 
necessary, in their opinion, to abolish Jewish Nation- 
alism and declare the Jews to be merely a religious 
sect, and thus refute, once for all, the accusations of 
the Germans of all stamps, whether reactionary or 
liberal, that the Jews are an alien element. 

Emancipation was obtained, though not by means 
of Reform. It was achieved through the political 
and social circumstances of the revolutionary year 
1848. But assimilation was not stemmed. The ex- 
treme spiritualization of Judaism of the radical re- 
formers and the elimination of the National element, 
brought the new type of Judaism within dangerous 
approach to reformed Christianity, the line of de- 
marcation between them becoming almost impercep- 
tible. Many did not hesitate, therefore, to cross this 
line and enjoy the social advantages which the cross- 
ing afforded. 

But in the innermost recesses of the Jewish soul 
there smoldered yet a spark, that was finally kin- 
dled into a flame, which helped to sustain Judaism 
in these dangerous times and to supply it with a con- 
tent. This was the creation of Jewish science. Jew- 
ish science, which taught at least a part of the Jews 
in Germany to respect and revere their glorious past, 


aroused in their hearts the feeling of self-conscious- 
ness and pride in their religion and nation, and thus 
helped to partly stem the tide of total assimilation. 
It is true, that in the beginning, Jewish scioice was 
utilized by some of its greatest builders to justify 
the inauguration of reform in Judaism, but it soon 
assumed a more conservative tendency. Such men 
as Rappoport, Krochmal, Graetz, Frankel and Luz- 
zato turned it into more wholesome channels, which 
finally conveyed strength and support to the totter- 
ing Judaism of Grermany and, with the help of mod- 
ernized orthodoxy, checked, in the sixth decade of 
the century, even the spreeul of Reform. 

Hess responded to all these movements within 
Jewry, and in his book an echo of all tendencies and 
strivii^ is heard. In his Rome and Jerusalem will 
be found a characteristic estimate of all these strug- 
gling forces within Judaism at the time. He, how- 
ever, in his enthusiastic manner, overestimates the 
value of Jewish science for the National revival. It 
did not fulfil his expectations. Jewish science, with 
the exception of the writings of Krochmal and Luz- 
zato, has not contributed much to National regen- 
eration. It remains for it to atone in the future for 
the unpardonable sin it committed in the past. 

The Life of Hess 

Moses Hess was bom in Bonn, Germany, on the 
twenty-first of January, 1812. His father was a 
wealthy merchant and thoroughly orthodox in his 
opinions. On his mother's side, Hess descended from 


a line of Rabbis and Jewish scholars. His early edu* 
cation was imbued with the Jewish spirit and the re- 
ligious zeal of his parents. At the age of nine, Hess 
was given into the custody of his grandfather, his 
parents having left Bonn for Cologne. The grand- 
father was a pious Jew of the old type, a Rabbi by 
degree, but not by profession, and by his conduct he 
left a very deep impression upon the young Hess and 
instilled in him the deep love for the Jewish people, 
which finally found its expression in Rome and Je- 
nuaiem, Hess speaks of his grandfather in the most 
glowing terms. 

In 1880, at the age of eighteen, Hess entered the 
Bonn University. It seems, however, that he never 
received an academic degree, having left the Univer- 
sity in the midst of his course of study. The Uni- 
versities were at that time the center of the Liberal 
and Radical movements and tendencies. Young Hess 
was powerfully attracted by these tendencies, and 
devoted himself with the entire force of his fiery soul 
to the propagation of the Socialist movement. 

This radical activity on the part of the young 
Hess led finally to a break between him and his con- 
servative father, and, as a result, Hess left Grermany 
for England. After a short stay, he went to Paris, 
whence, having spent his money, he returned to Ger- 
many, making his journey on foot, and was engaged 
for a time as a teacher in the village near Metz. 

A reconciliation was effected between father and 
son, and for a short time Hess was employed in his 
father's business. But commercial pursuits did not 


harmonize with the spirit of the young enthusiast, 
nor were the relations between him and his father 
very cordial ; and, consequently, the war between the 
two broke out anew. When Hess, in 1840, married 
Sybille Fritsch, a Christian girl of questionable repu- 
tation, the break between him and his father was 
complete and the two never met again. 

Hess, after giving up his business career, devoted 
his entire energy to philosophical studies and social- 
istic activity. In 1887 he published his first work, 
entitled, The Sacred History of Hwmanity, by a 
Young Spinozist. In this work, Hess develops his 
Philosophy of History, which is, in its essence, a 
combined product of Spinozism and Hegelianism. 
This work was followed, in 1841, by a second vol- 
ume. The European Triarchy^ where he advocates 
an alliance between England, France and Germany, 
the three most civilized nations of Europe ; the same 
idea is repeated by him in his Rome and Jerusalem. 

Hess was actively engaged, at the time, in the 
propaganda of Socialism and became one of the 
leaders of the radical movement. He was a contribu- 
tor to all the Socialistic publications, especially the 
Rhenische Zeitung^ of whose editorial staff he seems 
to have been a member. But such liberal publica- 
tions were objectionable to the reactionary authori- 
ties and were soon forbidden by order of the police. 
The Socialists, together with the Radicals, were then 
forced to publish their works and periodicals in 
Switzerland. Such a periodical publication was Ein 
und Zwanziff Bogen aus der SchweiU — ^all works 


above twenty sheets were free from censorship — 
where a long article by Hess, undor the name The 
Philosophy of Action^ was published. This article 
raised the philosophical standard of Hess in the eyes 
of his fellow-workers. Hess endeavors, in this arti- 
cle, to elaborate a system of philosophical Anarch- 
ism, declaring that the individual and the concrete 
is the only reality of the Idea, and vigorously de- 
nouncing all abstract generalities. The fundamental 
idea of the essay is, that the individual must have 
absolute freedom of action. This outburst of Indi- 
vidualism on the part of Hess, not only won him the 
displeasure of the socialist leaders, such as Marx and 
Engels, but did not harmonize with his own social 
nature and tendencies; he therefore modified his con- 
ception of egoism and socialized it. The highest de- 
velopment of the Ego, according to him, is when a 
man recognizes social life as his own. A direct re- 
sult of his new teaching was his vigorous participa- 
tion in the Communistic movement. In 184f5, Hess 
engaged in propagating the Communistic idea and 
founding societies devoted to its realization, an oc- 
cupation which led Arnold Ruge to describe him as 
"The Communist Rabbi Moses." 

His communistic activity, however, was soon cur- 
tailed. Hess, coming more and more under the in- 
fluence of Marx, adopted his views and began to 
preach the gospel of Economic Socialism. In his 
articles published in the subsequent year 1846 in 
MarxV JahrbuecheVy he advocated class struggle 
and declares himself a champion of the proletariat. 


MarZy however, could not forgive Hess for his en* 
thusiasm and warmth, and often denounced him. 
Even in the Commumst Manifesto^ he directed some 
bitter shafts at him, calling him a dreamer and 

In 1847, Hess went to Brussels, and for a time 
contributed to the DetUtche BrussUer Zeitung. 
From Brussels he went to Paris. Meanwhile, how- 
ever, the Revolution of 1848 broke out and Hess 
hastened to return to Grermany, taking an active 
part in the armed resistance of the people. The fol- 
lowing year, when reaction set in, Hess, among 
others, was condemned to death. For a time he wan- 
dered about aimlessly, attempting to settle in Geneva 
and Antwerp ; but the Prussian government, demand- 
ing his extradition, made his stay unsafe, and he 
finally went, in 1868, to Paris, where he lived for the 
greater part of his remaining days. 

The sixth decade of the nineteenth century waa a 
period of reaction and conservatism in Grermany. 
The revolutionary movement had spent its force in 
the attempted Revolution of 1848, and autocracy, 
regaining its strength, ruled with a mailed fist, 
though gloved in constitutional form. Many of the 
former revolutionary and libeiral leaders, now in ex- 
ile, despaired of ever carrying out their plan of a 
social change by means of revolution, and devoted 
themselves to other pursuits. Among them was 
Hess, who, during the eight years of his stay in 
Paris, from 1862 to 1860, occupied himself with the 
study of the physical and biological sciences, espe- 


cially anatomy and anthropology. Arnold Ruge, 
the Grerman philosopher and libenJ, who was living 
in Paris at the time, scoffed at Hess's devotion to 
science and his forsaking of the ideal, and accused 
him of becoming an adherent of imperialism, but 
Hess was not swayed by these strictures. 

These studies mark the turning point in Hess's 
mental attitude. Delving in Ethnology, Hess was 
convinced that the doctrine of Cosmopolitanism, 
which preaches the abolition of national landmarks 
and the fusing of humanity into one motley mass, 
has no scientific basis. He learned that Humanity 
consists of a group of nations, each distinct in physi- 
cal type and mental peculiarities, and that these dis- 
tinctions are not artificial, but primal and inherent. 
Hess then began to reflect about the fate and future 
of his own nation, which he had never entirdy for- 
gotten, but, as he himself says, his energies were 
temporarily diverted to what he at that time con- 
sidered a greater and more important subject of at- 
tention — ^the European Proletariat. The result of 
these reflections was his Rome and Jerusalem. Hess 
carried into his new occupation, the preaching of 
Jewish Nationalism, the same fire and enthusiasm 
which animated his socialistic writings and activities 
and, naturally, the appearance of his book made a 
strong impression upon his contemporaries. 

A champion of the Jewish National movement, 
Hess did not cease to be an ardent party socialist, 
and in 1868 went back to Grermany for a short time 
and participated in propaganda work, under the di- 


rection of Lasalle. But it seems that his old zeal 
was gone, for he soon returned to Paris and devoted 
himself once more to his scientific studies, and also 
to Jewish studies. During the succeeding years he 
contributed frequently to socialistic periodicals, and 
also to Jewish publications, among which were the 
Archives Israelites and Graetz's Monatsschrift fuer 
das Wissenschaft des Judenthumis. 

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, 
Hess, as a Prussian subject, was exiled from Paris. 
And yet, this act did not embitter him against 
France, but, on the contrary, he grieved deeply at 
France's defeat. To give vent to his feeling, he pub- 
lished a book which he called The Defeated Nation^ 
in which he advocated an alliance of all nations 
against Prussianized Germany. After peace was es- 
tablished, he returned to Paris and to his scientific 
studies. Through his constant wandering and travel 
his health had become undermined and, after a few 
years of quiet work, he died in 1875, at the age of 
sixty-three. At his own request, he was buried in 
the family plot at Dietz oa. the Rhine. His wife, 
who survived him, published the'^st volume of his 
Dynamic Mattery in 1877. 

The Philosophy of Hess 

Hess is not a systematic thinker. He never en- 
deavored to develop his view of the world and life on 
the basis of fixed principles in logical sequence, but 
presented them in rather confused form. Yet the 
principles are there and have a direct relation to his 


views on Nature, Life, History and Judaism. Hess, 
as we have seen, wrote many works, but the latest of 
his productions, Rome emd JenisdUmy in spite of its 
modest size, constitutes his Magnum Opus. In it 
we find a summary of his views on all grave questions 
in their most perfected form. The ideas expressed 
in it are valuable, not only as a foundation of the 
philosophy of Jewish Nationalism, but also as a con- 
tribution to human thought in general. With Hess, 
Judaism is not an isolated phenomenon of civiliza- 
tion, the expression of the spirit of a small people, 
but the most important constituent of the spiritual 
expression of Humanity. Hess raised Judaism to 
the dignity of a world philosophy, which has for its 
aim the elevation and perfection not only of the Jew- 
ish people, but of the entire human genus. His view 
of Judaism, however, is only a part of a general phi- 
losophical conception of Nature and life, a system- 
atic exposition of the principles of which will help to 
elucidate it and enhance its value. 

The fundamental principle of Hess's thought is 
what he terms ^Hhe genetic view." It is based on the 
teaching of Spinoza, of which he was a devoted fol- 
lower. Hess, though influenced greatly by Hegel 
and the post-Hegelian philosophy, especially by that 
of Feuerbach, always remained a Spinozist, yet his 
teaching extends far beyond that of Spinoza, and is 
more adaptable to life, and more fruitful as a social 
factor. According to his view, the world, in spite of 
its multiplicity and variety of phases, is a unity. 
There is no place in it for a dualism of matter and 


spirity or other divisions ; it is all one, — an undivided 
whole; the multiplicity in the universe is only ap- 
parent, the various unfoldings of the basic unity. 
Behind this unity)^there is the all-embracing force 
which unilSes the phenomena of the universe — ^the 
^ Creator or God. God is not outside of the world 
but within it, its essence and substance.^ He, the 
all-unifying force, the Creator, expresses himself in 
all multiple phenomena of Nature and life, and thus 
creates them, making the entire world a created 

Hess's emphasis of creation gives to his philoso- 
phy an entirely new aspect, far exceeding in impor- 
tance that of Spinoza. Spinoza, though employing 
the word creation, never conceived God as a real 
Creator, but endorses the mechanical view of the 
world, which sees in the universe a huge machine, 
working according to fixed laws, without aim and 
purpose. Hess, on the contrary, protests bitterly 
against this mechanical conception, and sees in the 
world a constant tendency tolrard creation, namely, 
the forming of things anew. The life of the world 
is not a mere blind operation of forces, but a devel- 
opment with a purpose and aim which will iSnally be 
realized. This aim is the harmony of all antagonistic 
elements, the reconciliation of all opposing forces, 
and the final peaceful cooperation of all for perfec- 
tion and develoimient. In this conception of recon- 
ciliation Hess shows the influence of HegePs philos- 
ophy or SffnthenSf which sees in the world of thought 
and life a constant process of opposition and recon- 


ciliation; but he employed it to better advantage 
than the master. 

The creatiye force of the universe is a vital force, 
and the entire universe a live being which is divided 
into three life spheres : the cosmic, organic and social 
or the human. There are no hard and fast lines sep- 
arating them, but they are all parts of a great whole, 
one creative force called them into being. The world 
is all movement; there is nothing stable in it; all 
things were formed anew. Hess does not believe in 
the eternity of matter, nor in the constancy of atoms. 
The atoms were created as all other things in this 
world and are subject to growth and decay. Atoms 
are only centers of gravity from which creation pro- 
ceeds, and corresponding to them, in other spheres, 
are the germs in the organic, and revelations of cre- 
ative ideas in the social. 

Hess believes that this gmetic conception is the 
real Jewish conception and points to the Biblical 
theory of creation. He was certainly right in his 
assertions. To look upon the world as a process of 
becoming and upon the cireative force as vital, 19 a 
primary quality of Jewish thought and is best illus- 
trated in Bergson. Comparing the view of Hess with 
that of the brilliant French-Jewish philosopher, we 
are struck with the similarity. Bergson, like Hess, 
struggles against the mechanical view of the world, 
and teaches a creative evolution constantly forming 
new productions, which are incalculable beforehand. 
Like Hess, he teaches the unity of the vital force 
which, thou^ dividing itself into different forms. 


mains essentially one. There are undoubtedly dif- 
ferences between the two, but the fundamentals are 
the same with both of them; and, from a practical 
point of view, Hess's conception is far deeper and 
more fertile. Hess applies his philosophic thought 
to the social world, while Bergson remains in the 
middle of the road. 

On the basis of the principles laid down by him in 
his view of the world, Hess constructed his philoso- 
phy of history. History, which embraces the social 
sphere of life is, according to him, not subordinate 
to Nature but on a par with it; it is dominated by 
the same laws and permeated with the same unified 
creative force. God reveals himself in history no less 
than in Nature; in this, he reminds us of the first 
Jewish national philosopher, Halevi,^ and there is a 
divine plan in human affairs which is gradually un- 
folding itself in time. 

Hess, like all thinkers of his time, was influenced 
in his conception of history by Hegel, whose princi- 
ples he applied. History, like Nature, is a constant 
development, and is, of course, dominated by law, yet 
human freedom is preserved by the consciousness of 
our action. The development of history goes on in 
cRalectic form, namely, forces opposing each other 
in earlier historical epochs are ultimately reconciled 
by a new synthetic epoch. Hess, viewing history as 
a part of the universal scheme, sees in its develop- 
ment an analogy to the development of Nature. In 

1 See the writer's article on Halevi in The American Hebrew, 
November 10, 1916. 


the former, as in the latter, there are three periods: 
rise, growth, and maturity, and there is also a cor- 
responding similarity between the periods of these 
two spheres, which he elaborates fancifully in the 
tenth letter. The difference lies in this: that while 
Nature has already entered upon the third phase of 
its development, history is still striving toward it. 
Hess employs, as the means of conveying his ideas, 
the Biblical conception of Sabbath, which signifies 
**rest" as well as "completion." Nature has already 
attained its Sabbath, but History is yet to attain it. 
The Sabbath of history, the period of maturity of 
human development, is the Messianic era of the 
Prophets. It is a time when all opposing and strug- 
gling forces of the social sphere will be harmonized 
and men will become morally free. But in order to 
comprehend the full significance of Hess's historical 
conception and his grand vision of the future, we 
must understand his view of Society and its strivings. 
In his youth, when, in response to the impulses of 
his warm heart, he threw himself in the Socialist 
movement in order to attempt to alleviate human 
misery, Hess had no definite conception of human 
Society. He was swayed too often by different mor 
tives. Social life to him was only a constant antag- 
onism between the collective body of society as a 
whole and its individual constituent members. Hu- 
man history, he says somewhere in his writings, is 
a struggle actuated by two motives, egoism and love. 
In other words, there are two forces in Society, the 
disintegrating one, egoism, and the cementing force 


which binds one human being to the other, love. 
Hess always retained his belief in love as a moral fac- 
tor and opens his book Rome amd Jerusalem with a 
eulogy of it. As an escape from this eternal struggle, 
he proposed Conmiimism, a state of Society which 
is bound to curb egoism and foster love. For a time, 
he swayed to Individualism. Under the influence of 
Feuerbach and Bauer, he wrote his Philosophy of 
Action^ which advocated the freedom of the indi- 
vidual. But, even then, he was not an egoist. Later, 
again, under the influence of Marx, he became more 
a class-struggle socialist. But in all these social 
changes of his, Hess conceived Society only as an 
aggregate of individuals. 

It was only later, as a result of his anthropologi- 
cal studies, that Hess came to the conclusion that 
Society is not a mere abstract idea but is composed 
of deflnite subdivisions known as races, each of which 
has definite hereditary mental and physical traits 
which are unchangeable. He then formed his or- 
ganic conception of Society, entirely independently 
of Spencer, which is the comer-stone of his social 
and Jewish philosophy. Society, according to this 
conception, is an organic body composed of organs, 
the races. Each of these organs or races has a dif- 
ferent function to perform for the benefit of the 
whole. It is in the performance of this function that 
the purpose of existence of the organ is realized; 
and there exists in every organ a natural tendency 
to perform the function. 

Hess developed an elaborate historical scheme, ac- 


cording to which every historical race had or has a 
certain mission or function to perform. The impor- 
tant places in this scheme are reserved by him for the 
two antithetical nations, the Greeks and the Jews. 
To the Greeks, the world presented multiplicity and 
variety; to the Jews, unity; the former conceived 
Nature and life as being, namdy, as an accomplished 
thing; the latter, as becoming, as a thing constantly 
being created. The Greeks, like Nature, which they 
represented, had reached their aim in life and had, 
therefore, disappeared from the world. The Jews, 
on the other hand, representing History, the con- 
stantly striving force, are still in existence, endeav- 
oring to carry out their aim, to bring about in this 
sphere of social life the historical Sabbath, namely, 
the harmony of all social forces. 

Judaism is a historical religion, a religion which 
has for its field of operation the social sphere, and 
which has discovered God in history, namely, the cre- 
ative and reconciling principle in the life of human- 
ity. The most characteristic point of Judaism, says 
Hess, in one of his later articles,^ is that it placed be- 
fore human history its highest goal, the realization 
of universal law in Society. Judaism, he says in an- 
other place, is a humanitarian religion. According 
to its teachings, the life of the human genus is an 
organic process ; it began with the family of the in- 
dividual and will finally end with a family of nations. 
This, th^ti, is the Jewish mission or function in 

^Die Einh^ii dst JudmUhumt mMrhdlb der limUtg^n JB«- 
UgioBen AnarM», in the Manatwfhrift, 1869. 


Society, to realize the teachings of its great religion 
in practical life. The Jewish nation belongs to the 
creative organs of humani|;y. The Jews have taught 
humanity true religion, a religion which is neither 
materialistic nor spiritualistic, which has for its aim, 
unlike Christianity, not the salvation of the individ- 
ual in the other world, but the perfection of social 
life in this world. And it is this function which they 
have to discharge to create for humanity new social 

This function of Israel which, as a member of a 
great organism of Society, he is to perform, cannot 
be discharged anywhere else but in Palestine, where 
he will again be a nation possessing his own soil, a 
fundamental condition for living a regular normal 
social life. The regeneration of Judaism and Jewry 
is impossible in exile where it lacks the soil, the basis 
of a political life, and where there exists constant 
fear of disintegration. In exile, the Jews are un- 
fruitful in all spheres, spiritually and economically. 
Jewish economic life, no matter how prosperous it 
may be in some countries, is abnormal; it lacks a 
basis, the soil; the Jews, therefore, cannot be cre- 
ators and are only middlemen. It is only in their 
own land, where they will be able to produce new eco- 
nomic and social values, that they will continue to 
develop their greatest creation — ^Religion, which as ^ 
a moral force will exert great influence upon human- 
ity and thus bring about the realization of social har- 
mony. In his attempt to lay the foundations of a'^ 
positive view of Jewish life, Hess devoted considera- 


ble space to negative criticism of existing concep- 
tions of Jewish life. His bitterest attacks are di- 
rected against the reformers and assimilators who 
deny Jewish nationality and substitute in its place 
an abstract indefinite teaching which they term, 
^^Mission." Hess belieyes in a Jewish mission, but 
his mission is a natural function based on history 
and social life, while theirs is only a product of 
imagination and narrow vision. He attacks their 
ignorance of Jewish history and the misconception 
of the nature of Judaism as well as of Society in 
general, and ridicules their self-assumed role as the 
teachers of the nations. Their Judaism is only an 
empty shell, after the most important principles have 
been abandoned by them. The Orthodox Jews have, 
in his opinion, a much higher and truer conception 
of Judaism. They have retained in their ceremonies 
and prayers the kernel of Nationalism and the desire 
for Jewish restoration. Yet even they do not satisfy 
him entirely. Their inactivity and fossilized state 
irritate him. But he is optimistic. He believes that 
the spirit of regeneration will revive them and that 
they will finally furnish the material for a great 
National Movement. Hess also laid great hopes on 
Jewish science and expected it to become a great 
factor in the Jewish revival. 

Hess developed a practical plan for the realiza- 
tion of his dream of Jewish restoration. He advo- 
cated the colonization of Palestine and the founda- 
tion of a Jewish Colonization^ Association. He 
dreamed that Jews, having been settled on the road 


to India and China, will become the mediators be- 
tween Asia and Europe. For political support, he 
looked to his beloved France, the embodiment of free- 
dom and the champion of oppressed nations. But he 
also dreamed of a Jewish Congress, demanding the 
support of the Powers for the purchase of Pales-^ 
tine, a dream quite prophetic in view of recent de- 
velopments. He also foresaw a political situation 
resembling in its features the present state of affairs 
created by the war ; he called it the last struggle be- 
tween reaction and freedom. In some of his articles 
there are strikingly modem features. 

Some of the dreams of this great visionary have 
partly come true. Let us gather confidence from the 
words of this modem seer, and hope that the glori- 
ous vision he foresaw for Israel will be realized in 
the coming period of history. 

M. W. 


Fbom the time that Innocent III ^ evolved the dia- 
bolical plan to destroy the moral stamina of the 
Jews, the bearers of Spanish culture to the world of 
Christendom, by forcing them to wear a badge of 
shame on their garments, imtil the audacious kid- 
napping of a Jewish child from the house of his 
parents, which occurred under the government of 
Cardinal Antonelli, Papal Rome symbolizes to the 
Jews an inexhaustible well of poison. It is only with 
the drying^up of this source that Christian German 
Anti-Semitism will die from lack of nourishment. 

With the disappearance of the hostility of Chris- 
tianity to culture, there ceases also its animosity to 
Judaism ; with the liberation of the Eternal City on 
the banks of the Tiber, begins the liberation of the 
Eternal City on the slopes of Moriah ; the renaissance 
of Italy heralds the rise of Judah.^ The orphaned 

1 Innocent III» Pope from 1198 to 1916, was disttnguislied 
for his cmd hatred toward the Jews. At his instigation, the 
fourth Lateran Council adopted a Resolution urging the Chris- 
tian Princes to force the Jews to wear a distinctire badge 
on thdr garments. — Tramlator* 

s At tlie time when Hess wrote these lines, Italy, under the 
leadership of Garibaldi, was struggling to wrest Rome from 
the Papal government and annex it to the new unified King^ 
dom. The remarlcs in regard to Poland and Hungary are also 
eiplained by the events of the time.— TronfMor. 


chfldren of Jerusalem will also participate in the 
great regeneration of nations, in their awakening 
from the lethargy of the Middle Ages, with its ter^ 
rible nightmares. 

Springtime in the life of nations began with the 
French Revolution. The year 1789 marks the Spring 
equinox in the life of historical peoples. Resurrec- 
tion of nations becomes a natureJ phenomenon at a 
time when Greece and Rome are being regenerated. 
Poland breathes the air of liberty anew and Hungary 
is preparing itself for the final struggle of liberation. 
Simultaneously, there is a movement of unrest among 
the other subjected nations, which will ultimately cul- 
minate in the rise of all the peoples oppressed both 
by Asiatic barbarism and European civilization 
against their masters, and, in the name of a higher 
right, they will challenge the right of the master 
nations to rule. 

Among the nations believed to be dead and which, 
when they become conscious of their historic mission, 
will struggle for their national rights, is also Israel — 
the nation which for two thousand years has defied 
the storms of time, and in spite of having been tossed 
by the currents of history to every part of the globe, 
has always cast yearning glances toward Jerusalem 
and is still directing its gaze thither. Fortified by 
its racial instinct and by its cultural and historical 
mission to unite all humanity in the name of the 
Eternal Creator, this people has conserved its na- 
tionality, in the form of its religion and united both 
inseparably with the memories of its ancestral land. 


No modern people, struggling for its own fatherland, 
can deny the right of the Jewish people to its former 
land, without at the same time undermining the jus- 
tice of its own strivings. 

But while the unprejudiced stranger considers the 
problem of Jewish Nationalism a timely one, it ap- 
pears to cultured Grerman Jews unreasonable. For 
it is in Germany that the difference between the Jew- 
ish and German races is emphasized and used both by 
the reactionary as well as by the liberal Anti-Semite 
as a cloak for their Judeophobia. It is there that the 
existence of Jewish nationality is still employed as 
an argument against the granting of practical and 
civil rights to the Jews. And this in Grermany, where 
the Jews, from the time of Mendelssohn, in spite o^ 
their participation in all cultural and moral move- 
ments and their notable contribution to these fields, 
and notwithstanding their continual disavowal of 
Jewish national culture and their painstaking exer- 
tions to Germanize themselves, have striven in vain 
to obtain equal rights. But what brother did not 
obtain from brother, what was not granted by man 
to man, will be given by a people to a people, by a 
nation to a nation. No nation can be indifferent to 
the fact that in the coming European struggle for 
liberty it may have another people as its friend or 
foe. ' 

The voices that are heard from various parts of 
the world, demanding the national regeneration of 
Israel, find justification, first of all, in the Jewish 
cult, in the national character of Judaism, and, even 


more, in the general process of develoimient of human- 
ity and its obvious results, and finally, in the present 
situation of human life. 

In the series of letters that follow, the author has 
emphasized primarily the first mentioned, namely, 
the iftmer justification. In doing this he has been 
impelled to denounce the fantastic illusions of the 
rationalists and philanthropists who deny the national 
character of the Jewish religion, either on principle 
or for material reasons. But he must protest as 
vigorously against the dogmatic fanatics who, not 
being able to develop our historic religion along 
modem lines, have sought shelter under the wings 
of ignorance, so as to avoid a struggle with the de- 
ductions of science and criticism. He is thus pre- 
paring the way for the coming peace, which is daily 
breaking in upon the strife that is now raging be- 
tween Reform and Orthodoxy. 

Thanks to recent labors of Jewish scholars and the 
portrayal of Jewish life by talented novelists and 
poets, our national historical faith has found numer- 
ous adherents even among those to whom but recently 
enlightenment meant the falling away from Judaism. 
The field of Jewish science is common to reformers 
and to the orthodox alike. The inner motives, which 
in the course of the series of letters demonstrate 
the necessity and possibility of the national regener- 
ation of Israel, are developed from the point of view 
of modem Jewish science. 

**The history of the Post-talmudic Period,'' says 


the famous Jewish historian,^ ''still possesses a na- 
tional character; it is by no means merely a creed 
or church history.'* "As the history of a people," he 
continues, "our history is far from being a mere 
chronicle of literary events or church history ; why, 
therefore, characterize it as such? The literature 
and religious development, just as the tragic martyr- 
dom, are only incidents in the life history of the 
people, not its substance." 

Historical criticism now takes the place of the 
former method of rationalism employed by the Re- 
formers, who wanted to separate the national from 
the religious in Judaism. They did not recognize the 
fountain of life, whence flowed our entire literature, 
Talmudic as well as Biblical. So much did they 
mistake the origin and cause of our literature that 
they considered that great organic creation, the Tal- 
mud, as representing merely the ever-changing re- 
sult of an attempt to accommodate the life of the 
people to ever-changing conditions and environments. 

Many who have emancipated themselves from dry 
orthodoxy have recently manifested in their studies 
a deepening conception of national Judaism; and 
have thus brought about the banishment of that 
superficial rationalism which was the cause of a grow- 
ing indifference to things Jewish and which finally 
led to a total severance from Judaism. But we find, 
on the other hand, among the nationalistic ranks, 
rabbis, such as I used to meet in my younger days, 

> Graets, HUtory of the Jews, German edition. Vol. 5, Intro- 
ducttoDy p. 3. 


who do not fall behind the Reformers in science and 
knowledge. The new seminaries, modeled after the 
Breslau school, which have been founded in every 
large Jewish center, ought to make it their aim to 
bridge the gap between the nihilism of the Reformers, 
which never learned anything, and the stanch con- 
servatism of the orthodox, which never forgot any- 
thing. A mild, reviving breeze blows from the 
direction of such places where, a few years ago, 
Orthodoxy, on the one hand, threatened to freeze 
every movement, and Reform, on the other, as a de- 
structive simoom, was about to bum up everything 
and sweep all vestiges of the ancient religion be- 
fore it. 

The general history of social and political life, as 
well as the national movement of modern nations, 
will be drawn upon, so as to throw light upon the 
undischarged function of Judaism. These sources 
will be utilized, furthermore, to demonstrate that the 
present political situation demands the establishment 
of Jewish colonies at the Suez Canal and on the 
banks of the Jordan. And, finally, these illustrations 
will be employed to point out the hitherto neglected 
fact, that behind the problems of nationality and free- 
dom there is a still deeper problem which cannot be 
solved by mere phrases, namely, the race question, 
which is as old as history itself and which must be 
solved before attempting the solution of the political 
and social problems. 

In order to anticipate unjustifiable criticism of my 
views by followers of the theory of Grerman race 


Chauvinism, as well as by those Jews whose philoso- 
phy has not sufficiently progressed, I have thought 
it necessary to collect the ideas bearing on the sub- 
ject, which are scattered through the letters, into one 
place, the Epilogue. The epilogue, as well as the 
notes, is the right place for a more lengthy philo- 
sophical discussion and scientific demonstration of the 
principles which have been referred to somewhat su- 
perficially in the letters themselves. 


The return home — Jewish women— The source of the 
historical religion — Family love — Mater dolorosa. 

After an estrangement of twenty years, I am back 
with my people. I have come to be one of them 
again, to participate in the celebration of the holy 
days, to share the memories and hopes of the nation, 
to tiike part in the spiritual and intellectual warfare 
going on within the House of Israel, on the one hand, 
and between our people and the surrounding civil- 
ized nations, on the other; for though the Jews have 
lived among the nations for almost two thousand 
years, they cannot, after all, become a mere part of 
the organic whole. 

A thought which I believed to be forever buried 
in my heart, has been revived in me anew. It is the 
thought of my nationality, which is inseparably con- 
nected with the ancestral heritage and the memories 
of the Holy Land, the Eternal City, the birthplace 
of the belief in the divine unity of life, as weU as the 
hope in the future brotherhood of men. 

For a number of years this half-strangled thought 
stirred within my breast and clamored for expres- 
sion. I lacked the strength to swerve suddenly from 
my beaten track, which seemed to be so far from 
the road of Judaism, to a new path which had un- 



folded itself before me in the hazy distance, in vague 
and dim outline. 

Is it mere chance, that whenever I stand at a new 
turn in my life, there appears in my path an un- 
happy woman, who imparts to me daring and cour- 
age to travel the unknown road? 

Oh, how stupid are those who minimize the value 
of woman's influence upon the development of Ju- 
daism ! Was it not said of the Jews, that they were 
redeemed from Egypt because of the merit of the 
pious women, and that tiie future redemption will 
be brought about through them? ^ 

It was only when I saw you in anguish and sorrow 
that my heart opened and the cover of my slumbering, 
national feeling was thrown off. I have discovered 
the fountain whence flows your belief in the eternity 
of the spirit. 

Your inflnite soul-sorrow, expressed on the death 
of one dear to you, brought about my decision to step 
forth as a champion of the national renaissance of 
our people. Such love which, like maternal love, flows 
out of the very life-blood and yet is as pure as the 
divine spirit; such infinite love for family can have 
its seat only in a Jewish heart. And this love is the 
natural source whence springs the higher, intellectual 
love of God which, according to Spinoza, is the high- 
est point to which the spirit can rise. Out of this 
inexhaustible fountain of family love have the re- 
deemers of humanity drawn their inspiration. 

*^In thee," says the divine genius of the Jewish 
1 C/. Note I at end of book. 


family, "shall all the families of the earth be 
blessed." ^ Every Jew has within him the potential- 
ity of a Messiah and every Jewess that of a Mater 

2 Genesis xii, 3. 


Thoughts on death cmd resurrection — Family tombs 
— Kindred sotds — Jewish and Hindu saints — 
Schopenhauer — The end of days — The Sabbath of 

Both sorrow and joy are contagious. You, my 
friend, have imbued me with your thoughts on death 
and resurrection. Heretofore, I have never visited 
a cemetery, but now the place holds an attraction for 
me. For the first time, since the untimely death of 
my mother, I visited the place where she lies buried 
and where later, during my absence from home, they 
laid my father to rest. I had forgotten the prayer 
usually read by Jews over the graves of their de- 
parted, and in ignorance my lips murmured the pas- 
sage from the second of the eighteen benedictions: 
^^Thou, O Lord, art mighty forever, thou restorest 
the dead to life • . • ," when suddenly I noticed 
a lone flower on a nearby grave. Mechanically I 
picked it, carried it home with me and put it among 
my papers. Only later, I learned whose earthly re- 
mains rest beneath that mound. I knew then that 
the treasure, as you named the flower, belongs to 
you alone. 

There are mystic relations between the living and 
the dead, though the nature and character of the 



communion will forever remain an unsolved riddle. 
More than your wonderful dreams, do my experiences 
in the wakin|f state confirm the influence that the 
departed exert on the fate of those who remain 

"The departed sotds continne to live in spirit." 

And therefore do I love also death. But must I then 
hate life? Nay, I love life as well, only I love it in 
the sense the greatest thinker of the centuries, Spi- 
noza, loved it. The more humanitarian, the holier, the 
more divine life is, the more does it appear that life 
and death are of equal value and equal worth. 

The Jews alone were able to rise to that spiritual 
height, where life and death appear to be of equal 
value; and yet they never renounced life, but clung to 
it tenaciously. Already eighteen hundred years ago, a 
Jew, who has since become a redeemer among the gen- 
tiles, found an extra-mundane point of support, from 
which he wished to lift the world from its poles. ^ 

The great teachers of the knowledge of God were 
always Jews. Our people not only created the no- 
blest religion of the ancient world, a religion which is 
destined to become the common property of the 
entire civilized world, but continued to devdop it, 
keeping pace with the progress of the human spirit. 
And this mission will remain with the Jews until the 
end of days, i.e., until the time when, according to 

iSee Note II at end of book. Hess alludes here to the 
famous saying of Archimedes: "Give me a place to stand and 
I will more the earth." — TramUUor, 


the promise of our Prophets, the world will be filled 
with the knowledge of God. The "end of days," so 
often spoken of by the Prophets, is not to be under- 
stood to mean, as some misinterpret it, the end of the 
world, but it denotes the period when the develop- 
ment and education of humanity will reach their high- 
est point. 

We are on the eve of the Sabbath of History and 
should prepare for our last mission through a 
tli^rough understanding of our historical religion. 
^^We cannot understand a single word of the Holy 
Scriptures, so long as we do not possess the point 
of view of the genius of the Jewish nation which 
produced these writings. Nothing is more foreign 
to the spirit of Judaism than the idea of the salva- 
tion of the individual which, according to the modem 
conception, is the comer-stone of religion. Judaism 
has never drawn any line of separation between the 
individual and the family, the family and the nation, 
the nation and humanity as a whole, humanity and 
the cosmos, nor between creation and the Creator. 
Judaism has no other dogma but the teaching of 
the Unity. But this dogma is with Judaism, not a 
mere fossilized and therefore barren belief, but a 
living, continually recreating principle of knowledge. 
Judaism is rooted in the love of the family; patriot- 
ism and nationalism are the flowers of its spirit, and 
the coming regenerated state of human Society will 
be its ripe fruit. Judaism would have shared the fate 
of other rdigions which were fossilized through their 
dogmas and which will finally disappear through the 


conflict with science, had it not been for the fact that 
its religious teachings are the product of life. Juda- 
ism is not a passive religion, but an active life factor, 
which has coalesced with the national consciousness 
into one organic whole. It is primarily the expres- 
sion of a nationality whose history, for thousands of 
years, coincides with the history of the development 
of humanity ; and the Jews are a nation which, haviag 
once acted as the leaven of the social world, is des- 
tined to be resurrected with the rest of civilized// 


ImmortaUtjf — Rabbi Jochanan — Nachmamdes — 
Messiamc trofoaUs — Pater nosier — Solidarity — 
The caU of France a/nd the rumbling of the reac- 

You wonder why it is that there is no mention of 
the doctrine of immortality in the Old Testament. 
The Agadic interpretations of verses, as well as the 
manipulations of certain Biblical passages by modem 
Jewish and Christian exegetes, which tend to infer 
from these verses and passages the belief in immor- 
tality, do not satisfy you, and rightly so. You argue, 
that if Moses and the Prophets had believed in a life 
beyond the grave, in the Christian sense, they would 
have stated the fact as explicitly as did the writers 
of the New Testament, and would not have limited 
reward and punishment to the life of this world alone. 
I do not deny the fact that there is no mention of 
immortality in the Old Testament. But if you re- 
proach our Holy Scriptures for passing over such an 
important doctrine in silence, you forget the view- 
point of the genius of the Jewish nation which pro- 
duced these Scriptures. You overlook the point of 
view of our sacred history, namely, the genetic con- 
ception which never separated the individual from 
the race^ the nation from humanity, and the created 


world from the Creator. You forget that the part 
of the Sacred Scriptures wherein there is no mention 
of immortality was written at ,a time when the Jew- 
ish nation was still in existence, and therefore there 
was no need of a belief in a resurrection. The Jewish 
belief in immortality is inseparable from the national- 
humanitarian Messianic idea. ^It is only with the 
coming of the Messiah and the establishing of the 
Messianic kingdom that the purpose of creation will 
be accomplished," says R. Jochanan, one of the lead- 
ing Amoraim. In another statement, he adds, that 
*^all the beautiful visions of the Prophets refer only 
to the Messianic reign ; but as regards the world to 
come, its character and nature is known to God 
alone." ^ Even in later Rabbinic Judaism, the Rabbis 
never separated the idea of a future world from the 
conception of the Messianic reign. Nachmanides in- 
sists, in contradiction to Maimonides, upon the iden- 
tity of Oloft^ Habbo, ^Hhe world to come," with the 
Messianic reign. 

There was no necessity for Judaism to emphasize 
the et^nity and indestructibility of the spirit, for its 
own history is nothing but the embodiment of this 
idea. It was only when Judaism was threatened with 
the possibility of national destruction, as early as 
the end of the period of the first Temple, that idong 
with the idea of national destruction and the hope 
of a national rebirth, there arose also the idea of the 
immortality of the individual. The Prophet Isaiah 

iFor the Teferences to the sayings of R« Jocbanan, see 
Sanhedriii, 98b anci 99n.^TnjmiU4or, 


already draws a sharp line of distinction betwe^i 
those nations which are doomed to eternal death and 
Israel who is destined to be resurrected. The mo- 
mentary death of Israel, the people of the spirit, is 
only the preliminary stage for a future eternal life. 
(Isa. xxvi, 14-19.) 

Even in primitive Christianity, as long as it did 
not separate itself completely from Judaism and the 
historical cult, the Jewish conception still survived, 
according to which resurrection, the ^^Kingdom of 
Heaven," and "the world to come," are identical with 
the Messianic age, the rebirth of the Jewish nation. 
The coming of the reign of the spirit is heralded in 
the Gospels, and also in the famous prayer of Jewish 
origin, ** Pater Noster,** **Our Father," as a definite 
event in the history of the Jews. 

Even the latest expression of the Jewish genius 
concerning life and death, namely, the teaching of 
Spinoza, has nothing in common with the sickly atom- 
istic conception of immortality, a conception which 
dissolves the unity of life either in a spiritualistic 
way or in a materialistic manner, and whose highest 
religious and moral principle is the egoistic maxim, 
"everyone for himself." No nation was ever so far 
from this egoistic principle as was the Jewish people. 
With the Jews, solidarity and social responsibility 
were always the fundamental principles of life and 

2 The solidarity of the Jews covers also the Shem^ le^ the 
name of God. The Jewish law of solidarity: ''All Israelites 
are responsible for one another," is expressed also in the form 


In the Sayings of the Fathers^ the rule of bourgeois 
morality — "everyone for himself" — ^is severely con- 
demned, and is declared to be a wicked rule of con-; 
duct.^ In the teaching of Spinoza, as in the teach- 
ing of the Jewish saints, the individual is not treated 
as a separate entity, but as a part of a whole. Ac- 
cording to Spinoza, eternity does not begin with our 
death, but always exists, is always present even as 
God himself. 

Very few, indeed, possess the noble spirit which 
animated the Jewish saints. Most people are anxious 
to secure as much immortality as possible for them- 
selves, and for themselves alone. True it is, that the 
*^end of days," when the knowledge of God will fill 
the earth, is still far off; yet we firmly believe that 

of KiddMh Hashem, the Sanctification of God's name; i.e., the 
Jew is urged to act m a more unselfish spirit than the law 
requires, and even to sacrifice his own interests and person, 
that he may thereby reflect glory upon the name of Judaism 
and all other Jews. 

8 Compare Note V at the end, where the opinion of the 
Rabbis in the Sayings of the Fathen about the various stand- 
ards of conduct in relation to ''mine and thine" are given in 
detail. In regard to the ordinary conception of common moral- 
ity of "everyone for himself," it is said there: He who says: 
"What is mine is mine and what is thine is thine^ his is a 
neutral character; — some say this is a character like that of 
Sodom." (Ethics, V. 13.) 

Another saying in Aboth, which is also found in Aboth d' B. 
Nathan in an imperfect and contradictory form, admonishes 
us that we should not be like servants who serve for the sake 
of reward but like children who perform their duty because 
of the reverence inspired in them by the majesty of the father 
of all being. This teaching seems to be indifferent to the 
doctrine of immortality. (Compare Epilogue, S.) 


the time will come when the holy spirit of our nation 
will become the property of humanity and the earth 
will become a grand temple wherein the spirit of 
Grod will dwell* In the Bible, the reign of the spirit 
is declared to be a future event, and even long after- 
ward people relegated these prophetic visions to the 
realm of the world to come — **Olam Habbp** — and 
did not connect them with the present life. /Spinoza 
was the first to conceive the reign of the spirit as an 
existing thing, as a factor in the present life. It is 
true, the reign of the spirit exists already, but only 
as a germ of spiritual light. To develop this germ 
to its fullest possibilities, so that it will create social 
values, there labor, along with the Jewish people, 'the 
most intellectual, moral and creative of modem na- 
tions, namely, Germany, France and England. These 
three nations have contributed greatly to the store of 
civilization, each its distinctive share. Germany has 
built the road to philosophy, France has thrown open 
to all nations the way to social and political changes 
and improvements, and has also blazed the path 
of progress for the natural sciences. England, like 
Germany, has followed, slowly but surely, her own 
lead, namely, that of the progress and development 
of industry }^\^ 

The Jews felt long ago that the struggle for regen- 
eration waged by the nations, together with France, 
is their own cause, and have therefore everywhere 
joined, enthusiastically and voluntarily, the ranks of 
the followers of the political-social movements. ^^The 
time has arrived/' says a well-known French demo- 


crat to the Jews, ^Vhen you should think less of 
others and more of yourselves, and commence to work 
for your own regeneration.* The latter, however, 
does not exclude the former* When I labor for the 
regeneration of my own nation, I do not thereby re- 
nounce my humanistic aspiration. The national move- 
ment of the present day is only another step on the 
road of progress which began with the French Revo- 
lution. The French nation has, since the great Revo- 
lution, been calling to the other nations for help. 
But the nations have turned a deaf ear to the voice 
from the distance and have lent a not unwilling ear 
to the tumult of reaction in their own midst. To-day, 
this roar deafens only the people in certain parts of 
Grermany, those who, by dint of political trickery, 
are aroused to the pitch of enthusiasm for the kings 
and war lords. But the other nations hear and 
follow the call of France. The call has reached 
also our ancient nation, and I would unite my voice 
with that of France, that I may at least warn my 
racial brothers in Germany against listening to the 
loud noise of the reactionaries.^ 

«See the extracts from the pamphlets The New OrUtUai 
Problem, quoted in the eleventh letter. 
sSee Epilogne, 6. 


German Anti-Semitism — Patriotic romanticists and 
philosophic book-dealers — Otto Wigamd — Berthold 
Atterbach — Mcleschott — Dr. GMavardm — Re- 
form and Jewish noses — A photographic picture 
— Hebrew prayers — Patriotism — My grandfather 
— Our Mother Rachel — National sorrow — The 
Black Sabbath, 

It seems that German education is not compatible 
with our Jewish national aspirations. Had I not once 
lived in France, it would never have entered my mind 
to interest myself with the revival of Jewish nation- 
ality. Our views and strivings are determined by 
the social environment which surrounds us. Every 
living, acting people, like every active individual, has 
its special field. Indeed, every man, every member 
of the historical nations, is a political, or as we say 
at present, a social animal ; yet within this sphere of 
the common social world, there are special places 
reserved by Nature for individuals according to their 
particular calling. The specialty of the German of 
the higher class, of course, is his interest in abstract 
thought; and because he is too much of a universal 
philosopher, it is difficult for him to be inspired by 
national tendencies. "Its whole tendency,*' my former 
publisher, Otto Wigand, once wrote to me, when I 



showed him an outline of a work on Jewish national 
aspirations, ^^is contrary to my pure human nature.'' 
The ^^ure human nature" of the Grermans is, in 
reality, the character of the pure German race, which 
rises to the conception of humanity in theory only, 
but in practice it has not succeeded in overcoming 
the natural sympathies and antipathies of the race. 
Grerman antagonism to Jewish national aspiration 
has a double origin, though the motives are really 
contrary to each other. The duplicity and contrari- 
ety of the human personality, such as we can see 
in the union of the spiritual and the natural, the 
theoretical and the practical sides, are in no other 
nation so sharply marked in their points of opposi- 
tion as in the German. Jewish national aspirations 
are antagonistic to the theoretical cosmopolitan ten- 
dencies of the Grermafi. But in addition to this, the 
German opposes Jewish national aspirations because 
of his racial antipathy, from which even the noblest 
Greiteans have not as yet emancipated themselves. 
The publisher, whose ^^pure human" conscience re- 
volted against publishing a book advocating the re- 
vival of Jewish nationality, published books preaching 
hatred to Jews and Judaism without the slightest 
remorse, in spite of the fact that the motive of such 
works is essentially opposed to the ^^pure human 
conscience." This contradictory action was due to 
inborn racial antagonism to the Jews.^ But the Grer- 
man, it seems, has no clear conception of his racial 
prejudices; he sees in his egoistic as well as in his 
1 See Note III at end of book. 


spiritual endeavors, not Grerman or Teutonic, but 
'humanitarian tendencies"; and he does not know 
that he follows the latter only in theory, while in 
practice he clings to his egoistic ideas. 

Progressive Grerman Jews, also, seem to think that 
they have sufficient reason for turning away from the 
Jewish national movement. My dear old friend, Ber- 
thold Auerbach, is disappointed with me, just as much 
as my former publisher, though not on the ground of 
^pure human conscience." He complains bitterly 
about my attitude and finally exclaims: ''Who ap- 
pointed you as a prince and judge over us?" ^ It 
ireems that on account of the hatred which surrounds 
him on all sides, the German Jew is determined to 
estrange himself from Judaism as far as possible, 
and endeavors even to deny his race. No reform of 
the Jewish religion, however extreme, is radical 
enough for the educated Grerman Jew. But the en^ 
deavors are vain. Even conversion itself does not 
relieve the Jew from the enormous pressure of Grer^ 
man Anti-Semitism. The German hates the Jewish 
religion less than the race; he objects less to the 
Jews' peculiar beliefs than to their peculiar noses. 
Neither reform, nor conversion, nor emancipation 

sBzodus il, 14. Auerbach gave me great satisf action by 
quoting the biblical verse in the original Hebrew. He recog- 
niies my right to express my Jewish sympathies and feelings^ 
to which he is not averse. But he claims that such an expres- 
sion should bear more of the character of personal sentiment 
and not be made public Such action, according to him, is 
dangerous and can become a ''fire brand" in the hands of the 


throw open to the Jew the gates of social life, hence 
their anxiety to deny their racial descent. MoUeschot, 
in his Physiological Sketches (p. 261), tdls how the 
son of a converted Jew used to spend hours every 
morning at the looking-glass, coinb in hand, endeav- 
oring to straighten his curly hair, so as to give it 
a more Teutonic appearance. But as little as the 
^^radical" Reform movement — an appellation which 
characterizes it so weU, inasmuch as it lays the ax 
at the root of Judaism and its national historical 
cult — ^accomplished its aim, so little will the tendency 
of some Jews to deny their racial descent fulfil their 
purpose. Jewish noses cannot be reformed, and the 
black, wavy hair of the Jews will not change through 
conversion into blond, nor can its curves be straight- 
ened out by constant combing. The Jewish race is 
one of the primary races of mankind that has re- 
tained its integrity, in spite of the continual change 
of its climatic environment, and the Jewish type has 
conserved its purity through the centuries. 

On the western mountain slope which encloses the 
City of the Dead, at Thebes, in Egypt, there still 
exists the tomb of one of the ancient architects, who 
supervised the construction of the king's buildings, 
on which are depicted rdiefs of all the work? con- 
structed under his direction. Here we can see how 
the obelisks were erected, the sphinxes hewn out of 
the rock, the palaces built, as well as how all the 
preliminary labor was performed. Here are scenes 
representing white Asiatic slaves making bricks, 
many of which are piled up near the building, whfle 


other slaves are carrying stones away. At a little 
distance from the group of laboring slaves stands the 
overseer with raised whip in his hand. The tomb 
was built, according to the inscription, about the time 
of Moses, and in the reliefs of the Asiatic slaves there 
is a resemblance to the present Jewish type.8 Later 
Egyptian monuments, likewise, show Jewish reliefs 
which strikingly resemble our modem JewH. 

The Jewish race, which was so hard pressed and 
almost destroyed by many nations of antiquity, would 
have disappeared long ago, in the sea of the Indo- 
Germanic nations, had it not been endowed with the 
gift of retaining its peculiar type under all circum- 
stances and of reproducing it. If Judaism owes its 
immortality to the remarkable religious productivity 
of the Jewish genius, this genius itsdf owes its ex- 
istence to the fertility of the Jewish race. The words 
of the Bible, ^^But the more they afflicted them, the 
more they multiplied and the more they spread 
abroad, and the land was filled with them," which were 
written of the Jews in Egypt, are true of them also 
during the third exile. 

Of the predominance of the Jewish type in cases 
of intermarriage with members of the Indo-Germanic 
race, I can quote an example from my own experi- 
ence. It is a well-known fact, that in unions between 
members of the Mongolian with those of the Indo- 
Germanic race, the Mongolian type predominates; 
for example, the Russian nobles, who have little Mon- 
golian blood in their veins, yet display in their physi- 

^Simai and Golgotha, by F. A. Strauss^ p. 


ognomy Mongolian features even to the present day.* 
Among my friends there is a Russian nobleman who, 
like all the Russian boyars, betrays his mixed d&- 
scent, the Mongolian, by his features, and the Indo- 
Grermanic, by his fine intellect. This friend married 
a Polish Jewess, by whom he had a number of sons, 
who all possess Jewish features in marked degree. 
As you see, my esteemed friend, Jews and Jewesses 
endeavor, in vain, to obliterate their descent through 
conversion or intermarriage with the Indo-Germanic 
and Mongolian races, for the Jewish type is inde- 
structible. Nay more, the type is undeniable, even 
in its most beautiful representatives, where it ap- 
proaches the ancient Greek type, and even surpasses 
it with its peculiar soul-expression. Hence I was not 
surprised, when traveling through Antwerp, I showed 
an artist the beautiful picture known to you, that he, 
enthusiastically admiring the image that would have 
done credit to a Phidias, exclaimed: ^^I will wager 
that it is the picture of a Jewess." 

The Jewish race, throughout the i^orld, possesses 
the ability to acclimatize itself more than all other 
races. Just' as in the native land of the Jews, Pal- 
estine, there grow plants of the southern and of the 
northern zones, so does this people, of the temperate 
clime, thrive in all zones. A French physician. Dr. 
Gallavardin, has demonstrated this physiological phe- 

4 Russia was overrun in the thirteenth century by Mongolian 
hordes and for a time was subject to one of the Tartar king^ 
doms established on its borders. During this thne the two 
races mingled freely, so that, as a result, the Mongolian type 
is quite prevalent among the Russians. — Translator, 


nomenon by many statistical data, in his work, The 
Position of the Jews in the World. 

And just as it is impossible for me to entertain 
any prejudice against my own race, which has played 
such an important role in universal history and 
which is destined for a still greater one in the future, 
so it is impossible for me to show against the holy 
language of our fathers the antipathy of those who 
endeavor to eliminate Hebrew from Jewish life, and 
even supersede it by Grerman inscriptions in the ceme- 
tery. I was always exalted by the Hebrew prayers. 
I seem to hear in them an echo of fervoit pleadings 
and passionate entreaties, issuing from suffering 
hearts of a thousand generations. Seldom do these 
heart-stirring prayers fail to impress those who are 
able to understand their meaning. The most touch- 
ing point about these Hebrew prayers is, that they 
are really an expression of the collective Jewish 
spirit; they do not plead for the individual, but for 
the entire Jewish race. The pious Jew is above all 
a Jewisli patriot. The "new** Jew, who denies the 
existence of the Jewish nationality, is not only a 
deserter in the religious sense, but is also a traitor 
to his people, his race and even to his family. If it 
were true that Jewish emancipation in exile is in- 
compatible with Jewish nationality, then it were the 
duty of the Jews to sacrifice the former for the sake 
of the latter. This point, however, may need a more 
elaborate explanation,^ but that the Jew must be 
above all a Jewish patriot, needs no proof to those 

B Se» Note IV at end of book. 


who have received a Jewish education. Jewish patri- 
otism is not a cloudy Grermanic abstraction, which 
dissolves itself in discussions about being and appeal^ 
ance, realism and idealism, but a true, natural feel- 
ing, the tangibility and simplicity of which require 
no demonstration, nor can it be disposed of by a 
demonstration to the contrary. 

My grandfather once showed me some olives and 
dates, and remarked, with beaming eyes, ^^These were 
raised in Eretz YisroeV* Everything that reminds 
the pious Jew of Palestine is as dear to him as the 
sacred relics of his ancestral house. It is customary 
that a bag containing earth from the Holy Land is 
put into the grave of every pious Jew. In this prac- 
tice, however, as well as in the ritualistic use of the 
citron and palm branch which, like the bag of earth, 
are imported from Palestine at great expense, there 
is something more than the mere carrying out of a 
religious precept or the promptings of superstitious 
belief. All feast and fast days of the Jews, their 
deep piety and reverence for tradition, which ahnost 
apotheosizes everything Hebraic, nay even the entire 
Jewish cult, all have their origin in the patriotism 
of the Jewish nation. The Jewish **reformers," who 
have emancipated themselves from Jewish nationality, 
understand this quite well; they are therefore very 
careful in expressing their heartfelt opinions. They 
find it more comfortable to take refuge in the false- 
hood of the dualistic theory, which sees in every 
natural and simple feeling, as well as in patriotism, 
a double ess^ice — an ideal and a real. This dualistic 


theory is very useful, as it can be adjusted at will, 
either to the one point of view or to the other. 

This false theory is of recent German invention and 
need not be taken seriously. Spinoza conceived Ju- 
daism to be grounded in Nationalism, and held that 
the restoration of the Jewish kingdom depends en- 
tirely upon the will and courage of the Jewish peo- 
ple. Even the rationalistic Mendelssohn did not know 
of a cosmopolitan Judaism. It is only in modem 
times that, for the purposes of obtaining equal rights, 
some German Jews denied the existence of Jewish 
nationality. Moreover, they have convinced them- 
selves, contrary to the fact that the further existence 
of Judaism will not at all be threatened by the elim- 
ination of its innermost essence. 

True, my dear friend, it is a fact which may even 
come to the attention of our Grerman Jewish re- 
formers, that the Jewish religion is, above all, Jew- 
ish patriotism. I always recall, with deep emotion, 
the scenes that I lived through when a child, at the 
house of my grandfather at Bonn, on the fast-day 
commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem. On 
the first day of the month of Ab, which is the first 
of the nine days preceding the eventful day, the 
sorrow which had been manifested since the beginning 
of the "three weeks," assumed a more perceptible 
form. Even the Sabbath day lost its festive charac- 
ter during these days of national mourning, and was 
named "the black Sabbath." My pious grandfather 
was one of those revered scholars who, though not 
using the Torah as a means of subsistence, yet pos- 


sessed the title and knowledge of a rabbi. Every 
evening, at the close of his business day, he sp^it 
several hours in studying the Talmud and its com- 
mentaries. But in the ^^nine days" this study was 
interrupted, and instead he read with his grandchil- 
dren the stories and legends concerning the exile of 
the Jews from Jerusalem. The tears fell upon the 
snow-white beard of the stem old man as he read 
those stories, and we children, too, would cry and 
sob. I remember, especially, one particular passage 
which impressed us both deeply. It runs as follows : 

**When the children of Israel were led into captiv^ 
ity by the soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar, their road lay 
past the grave of our Mother Rachel. As they ap- 
proached the grave, a bitter wailing was heard. It 
was the voice of Rachel, weeping at the fate of her 
unhappy children." ® 

You can now discern clearly the source of the 
Jewish belief in immortality ; it is the product of our 
remarkable family love. Our immortality extends 
back into the past as far as the Patriarchs, and in 
the future to Messiah's reign. It is the Jewish con- 
ception of the family which gave rise to the vivid 
belief in the continuity of the spirit in human his- 
tory. This belief, which is one of the fairest blos- 
soms of Judaism, the roots of which are to be found 
in Jewish family love and the trunk in Jewish patri- 
otism, has, in the course of ages, shrunk to the belief 
in the atomistic immortality of the individual soul; 
and thus, torn from its roots and trunk, has withered 

« Jeremiah xzxi» 14. 


and decayed. It is only in the Jewish conception of 
the fanuly that the former living belief is still re- 
tained.//mien modem duaUsm of spirit and matter, 
the result of the separation of Christianity from 
Judaism, had found its highest expression in the 
works of the last Christian philosopher, Descartes, 
and had threatened to kill all unity of life, there 
arose again out of Judaism the belief in the existence 
of one eternal force in Nature and history. This 
belief acted as a bulwark against spiritual egoism, on 
the one hand, and materialistic individualism on the 
other .''^ Just as Christian dualism received its mortal 
blow from the teachings of Spinoza, so does the ex- 
istence of the ancient Jewish people, with its model 
family life, act as an antidote against this disease 
of dualism in practical life. Even to-day the whole- 
some influence of the Jewish family life is noticeable 
in literature, art and science. How much greater will 
that influence be when once again we create history 
and literature, when once more the Torah will go 
forth from Zi^m and the Word of the Lord from 
Jerusalem? J;^"^ 

TThe monistie teaching of Spinosa is here referred to by 
Hess. — Tramlator. 

sMicah iv, 1; Isaiah ii, 3. **But in the last days it shall 
come to pass that .... the Law shall go forth from Zion, 
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.'^ It is an old 
prophecy, repeated in identical words by various prophets, 
the echo of which reverberates throughout our entire history. 


Retrospect — The Damascus Affair — A cry of on- 
gvish — MamserbiUml, i.e.j Blood Accusation-^ 
Hep, Hep — The escape into France — Arnold Ruge 
— Napoleon — An honest German — Teutomamacs 
— Jefferson — Fatherlands and Sovereigns — Ubi 
bene ibi Patria — The Jewish incognito — The re- 
ligion of death — Raise your standard high, my 

Do I seriously believe in the redemption from ex- 
ile? You ask this question, and also remind me that 
I have already expressed myself in my two earlier 
works, The Sacred History of Humanity and The 
Triarchy of Europe, as a believer in the fulfilment 
of the Messianic hope. You are certainly going far 
afield, esteemed friend, in holding me responsible not 
only for my present opinions, but also for those ex- 
pressed long ago. Neverthdess, you are right, and 
I assume full responsibility for my ideas. But in or- 
der not to stray too far from the thought nearest to 
my heart into my own personal history, I will relate 
only a few of the most characteristic episodes of my 
past, which will elucidate my present attitude toward 
the national question. 

Twenty years ago, when an absurd and false accu- 



sation against the Jews was imported into Europe 
from Damascus,^ it evoked in the hearts of the Jews 
a bitter feeling of agony. Then it dawned upon me 
for the first time, in the midst of my socialistic activ- 
ities, that I belong to my unfortunate, slandered, 
despised and dispersed people. And already, then, 
though I was greatly estranged from Judaism, I 
wanted to express my Jewish patriotic sentiment in 
a cry of anguish, but it was unfortunately immedi- 
ately stifled in my heart by a greater pain which the 
suffering of the European Proletariat evoked in me. 
With other nations, there is strife only among the 
various parties, but the Germans clash even when 
they belong to the same party. The members of my 
own party have made me loathe the aspirations of 
the Germans, and by their actions caused me to go 
into exile several years before the triumphant 
reaction changed it from a voluntary act into an 
involuntary one. Only a short time after the Feb- 
ruary revolution, I went to France and there I 
learned to know the people which, in the present cen- 
tury, is the foremost champion of social liberty. If 
this people submits at present to the iron dictator- 
ship of kinghood, it is because the Emperor is true 

iThis is the well-known ritual murder case of Damascus, 
usually referred to as the Damascus affair, of 1840. Tlie num- 
ber of accused Jews, as well as the inquisitorial methods ap- 
plied in extorting a confesdon, attracted the attention of the 
leading Jews of Europe, including Sir Moses Montefiore and 
Isaac Cremieux, through whose efforts the Government of 
France and England finally intervened and obtained the re- 
lease of the accused. — TransUUor, 


to his revolutionary descent,^ not in word alone, but 
also in deed. The moment dynastic interests conflict 
with the aspirations and strivings of the French 
people, kinghood will disappear from the soil of 

After the coup d'etat of the reaction,^ I withdrew 
from politics and devoted myself exclusively to na- 
tural sciences. Old Dr. Arnold Ruge, a follower of 
the Young Hegelians,* was much shocked at my occu- 
pation, which he termed materialism; he could never 
forgive the "Communist Rabbi Moses" for his heresy 
in forsaking the "ideal." He hinted frequently, in 
his lectures at the German Museum, that this scien- 
tific materialism is in reality only Imperialism, but 
not of the Grerman-Barbarossa type,*^ but only of the 
Romance-Bonapartistic stamp. What relation there 
is between the study of the natural sciences and Bona- 
partism, the old Ruge never explained clearly. Mean- 
while, ever since the beginning of the Italian War of 

2 The Emperor of France at the time was Napoleon III, the 
nephew of Napoleon. — Translator. 

sThis refers to the crushing of the popular revolution in 
Germany by Prussia, in the year 1840. — Translator, 

« Young Hegelianism is the name given to the radical inter- 
pretation of Hegel's philosophy. Its followers were mostly 
revolutionaries and socialists. Ruge was one of its principal 
leaders. — Translator, 

s Frederick Barbarossa was Emperor of Germany from 1159 
to 1189. His reign was marked by brilliancy, power and iron- 
handed ruling. His strong personality left a lasting impres- 
sion upon the mind of the German people, so that he became 
the hero of a number of legends. He represents, therefore, 
to the German, the ideal type of a strong-handed Emperor. — 


Liberation, I discovered a real and strong relation- 
ship between my ethnological studies and the modem 
national movement, which received such a strong 
impetus since the war. I will, on a later occasion, 
relate to you some of the conclusions reached through 
these studies. Let it suffice for the present, to say 
that these studies convinced me of the inevitable ulti- 
mate disappearance of any particular race dominance 
and the necessary regeneration of all oppressed peo- 
ples. First of all, it was my own Jewish people who, 
since that time, began to interest me and enchant me 
more and more. Images of my unfortunate brethren 
who surrounded me in my youth haunted my thoughts, 
and the long-suppressed feelings burst forth with 
fresh vigor. The pain and agony which, during the 
Damascus affair, was only a transient feeling, became 
now -a dominating trait of my character and a lasting 
mood of my soul. No more did I seek to suppress 
the voice of iny Jewish consciousness, but on the con- 
trary, I carefully followed up its traces and was 
pleasantly surprised when I found, in my old manu- 
scripts, a passage anticipating my present-day Jew- 
ish aspirations. 

The following passage was written by me in the 
year 1840, during the time of the above-mentioned 
Damascus affair: 

'^The way and manner in which the persecution of 
the Jews in Europe, and even in enlightened Grermany, 
is looked upon, must necessarily cause a new point 
of departure in Jewish life. This tendency demon- 
strates quite clearly that in spite of the degree of 


education to which the Occidental Jews have attained, 
there still exists a barrier between them and the sur- 
rounding nations, ahnost as formidable as in the days 
of religious fanaticism. Those of our brethren who, 
for purposes of obtaining emancipation, endeavor to 
persuade themselves, as well as others, that modem 
Jews possess no trace of a national feeling, have 
really lost their heads.^ These men do not understand 
how it is possible that such a stupid, mediaeval legend, 
which was only too well known to our forefathers un- 
der the name of MamserbUbuly should be given cre- 
dence, even for a moment, in Nineteenth Century Eu- 
rope. To our educated Grerman Jews, the feding of 
hatred toward the Jews displayed by the Grermans 
has always remained an unsolved puzzle. Was not 
the entire effort of the German Jews, since the days 
of Menddssohn, directed toward becoming wholly 
Germanized, to thinking and feeling as Germans? 
Have they not striven carefully to eradicate every 

6 The AUgemeine Zeitung d$i JwUnthwm, which is other- 
wise a progressive publication, complained bitterly at the time. 
"Burope»" says this worthy publication, in one of its issues, 
"has spared the followers of the religion of Israel neither pain, 
nor tears, nor bitterness." Were the Jews only followers of a 
certain religious denomination, like the others, then it were 
really inccmcdvable that Europe, and especially Germany, 
where the Jews have partidpated in every cultural activity, 
"should spare the followers of the Israelitic confession neither 
pain, nor tears, nor bitterness." The solution of the problem, 
however, consists in the fact that the Jews are something more 
than mere "followers of a religion," namely, they are a race 
brotherhood, a nation, one which, unfortunately, whose existence 
is denied hf its own children and which every street loafer 
considers it his duty to despise as long as It is homeless. 


trace of their ancient nationality? Have they not 
fought in the "War of Liberation"? Were they not 
Teutomaniacs and French devourers? Did we not 
chant but yesterday with Nicolas Becker, "They 
shall not possess it, the free German Rhine"? Did 
I myself not commit the unpardonable stupidity of 
sending a musical composition of this "German Mar- 
seillaise" to the author of this song? 

And yet I had to feel, in a personal way, the same 
disappointment that German Jewry in general expe- 
rienced after it had given repeated demonstration of 
its patriotic enthusiasm. I also had to experience 
the sad fact that the German to whom I sent my 
manuscript, glowing with patriotic emotion, not 
only responded to it in any icy tone, but as if to 
fill the cup of bitterness to the brim, wrote on the 
other side of his letter, in a disguised script, the 
words: "You are a Jew." I forgot, then, that the 
Germans, after the War of Liberation, not only dis- 
criminated against the Jews, their erstwhile comrades 
in arms against the French, but even persecuted them 
with the frequent cries of Hep^ Hep. I, on the other 
hand, took Becker's Hep^ Hep, as a personal insult, 
and accordingly wrote him a letter, not in a disguised 
script, making a few unpleasant remarks, which this 
honest German, who most likely felt ashamed of his 
rudeness, passed over in silence. To-day I could have 
apologized to this German poet, for, as I see clearly 
now, it was by no means intended as a personal in- 
sult. It is impossible for any man to be at the same 
time a Teutomaniac and a friend of the Jews, just 


as it is impossible to love, simultaneously, the German 
military rule and German democracy. The real Teu- 
tomaniacs of the Arndt and Jahn type will always 
be honest, reactionary conservatives. The Teuto- 
maniac, in his love of the Fatherland, loves not the 
State but the race dominance. How, then, can he 
conceive the granting of equal rights to other races 
than the dominant one, when equality is still a Utopia 
for the large masses of Germany? 

The sympathetic Frenchman assimilates with irre- 
sistible attraction every foreign race element. Even 
the Jew is here a Frenchman. Jefferson said long 
ago, at the time of the American Revolution, that 
every man has two fatherlands, first his own and then 
France. The German, on the other hand, is not at 
all anxious to assimilate any foreign elements, and 
would be perfectly happy if he could possess all his 
fatherlands and dominions for himself. He lacks 
the primary condition of every chemical assimilative 
process, namely, warmth. 

As long as the Jew submitted in silence to perse- 
cution and disgrace, considering ft as a punishment 
of Gody all the time confidently hoping for the future 
restoration of his nation, his pride was not impaired. 
His only care was to enable his race to reach that 
glorious future which would amply recompense it 
for all the suffering it had undergone in the past, 
when God will mete out punishment to the persecutors 
and enemies of Israel. Our enlightened Jews, however, 
possess this strong belief and vigorous hope no more. 
What good is emancipation to, them? Of what avail 


is it that here and there a Jew rises to high oiBce, 
when to the name *' Jew" there is attached a stigma 
which every obscure journalist, every stupid fellow, 
can safely turn to account? 

As long as the Jew endeavors to deny his nation- 
ality, while at the same time he is unable to deny his 
own individual existence, as long as he is unwilling 
to acknowledge that he bdongs to that unfortunate 
and persecuted people; his false position must daily 
become more intolerable. Wherefore the illusion? 
The European nations have always considered the 
existence of the Jews in their midst as an anomaly. 
We shall always remain strangers among the nations. 
They may tolerate us and even grant us emancipation, 
but they will never reaped us as long as we place 
the principle vbi bene ibi patria above our own great 
national memories. Though religious fanaticism may 
cease to operate as a factor in the hatred against the 
Jews in civilized countries, yet in spite of enlighten- 
ment and emancipation, the Jew in exile who denies 
his nationality will never earn the respect of the 
nations among whom he dwells. He may become 
a naturalized citizen, but he will never be able to 
convince the gentiles of his total separation from his 
own nationality. It is not the old-type, pious Jew, 
who would rather suffer than deny his nationality, 
that is most despised, but the modem Jew who, like 
the Grerman outcasts in foreign countries, denies his 
nationality, while the hand of fate presses heavily 
upon his own people. The beautiful phrases about 
humanity and enlightenment which he employs as a 


cloak to hide his treason, his fear of being identified 
with his unfortunate brethren, will ultimately not pro- 
tect him from the judgment of public opinion. In 
vain does the enlightened Jew hide behind his geo- 
graphical and philosophical alibi. It is of no avail. 
Mask yourself a thousand times over, change your 
name, religion and character, travel throughout the 
world incognito, so that people may not recognize the 
Jew in you ; yet every insult to the Jewish name will 
strike you, even more than the pious man who is 
permeated with the spirit of Jewish solidarity and 
who fights for the honor of the Jewish name. 

Such, my friend, were my thoughts then, when I 
was actively engaged on behalf of the European Pro- 
letariat. My Messianic belief was, at that time, the 
same that I profess at present, namely, the belief in 
the regeneration of the historical civilized nations, 
which will be accomplished only by raising the op- 
pressed nations to the level of the mighty and domi- 
nant ones. Now, as at the time I wrote my earlier 
works, I still believe that Christianity was a step for^ 
ward on the road toward the goal of humanity, which 
the Jewish prophets termed the Messianic age. To- 
day, as ever, I still believe that the present great 
epoch in universal history had its first manifestation, 
at least in the history of the human spirit, in the 
teachings of Spinoza. However, I never believed, nor 
have I ever asserted, that Christianity is more than 
a mere episode in the sacred history of humanity, 
nor even that this epoch of sacredness closed with 
Spinoza. I have never doubted that we at present 



sigh and strive for a redemption which Christianity 
never dreamed of, nor could ever supply. It is true 
that Christianity shed a certain glow during the dark 
ages of history, after the sun of ancient civilization 
had set forever; but its light only revealed the graves 
of the nations of antiquity. Christianity is, after all, 
a religion of death, the function of which ceased the 
moment the nations reawakened into life. The history 
of the European nations for the last three hundred 
years amply illustrates the truth of this dictum ; but 
I will restrict myself to calling your attention to the 
events transpiring at present in Italy. On the ruins 
of Christian Rome there rises the regenerated Italian 
people. An influence similar to that of Christianity 
is exerted by Islam in the East. Both religions teach 
resignation and submission, and Turkey follows the 
same policy in regard to Palestine that Austria ex- 
ercises in Italy. Christianity and Islam are both only 
inscriptions on the tombstones which barbaric op- 
pression erected upon the grave of weaker peoples. 
But the soldiers of civilization, the French, are grad- 
ually sweeping away the dominance of the barbarians ; 
and with their strong Herculean arms will roll off 
the tombstones from the graves of the supposedly 
dead peoples and the nations will reawaken once more^ 
In those countries which form a dividing line be- 
tween the Occident and the Orient, namely, Russia, 
Poland, Prussia, Austria, and Turkey, there live mill- 
ions of our brethren who earnestly believe in the res- 
toration of the Jewish kingdom and pray for it fer- 
vently in their daily services. These Jews have pre- 


served, by their belief in Jewish nationality, the very 
kernel of Judaism in a more faithful manner than 
have our Occidental Jews. The latter have endeav- 
ored to revive much of our religion, but not the great 
hope which created our faith and preserved it through 
all storms of time, namely, the hope of the restora- 
tion of Jewish nationality. To those millions of my 
brethren I turn and exclaim, ^^Carry thy standard 
high, oh my people!'' The Jewish nation still pre- 
serves the fruitful seed of life, which, like the grains 
of com found in the graves of Egyptian mummies, 
though buried for thousands of years, have never lost 
their power of productivity. The moment the rigid 
form in which it is enclosed is shattered, the seed, 
placed in the fertile soil of the present environment 
and given air and light, will strike root and prosper. 
The rigid forms of orthodoxy, the existence of 
which was justified before the century of rebirth, will 
naturally, through the productive power of the na- 
tional idea and the historical cult, relax and become 
fertile. It is only with the national rebirth that the 
religious genius of the Jews, like the giant of legend 
touching mother earth, will be endowed with new 
strength and again be reinspired with the prophetic 
spirit. No aspirant for enlightenment, not even a 
Mendelssohn, has so far succeeded in crushing the 
hard shell with which Rabbinism has encrusted Juda- 
ism without, at the same time, destroying the national 
ideal in its innermost essence. 


The noble represeniatifoes of the German spirU — 
Patriotic Jewe — The hiitarian Graetx — Mercier*s 
Esioi 8ur la Litterature Jvive — Auivmm and 
Spring eqvinowee of umoersal history and its 
storms — Sabbatai Zevi — Cluuidim — Natural and 
historical religion — The Jewish Mother — Victor 
Hugo — Boeme, Baruch, Itxig. 

You think my judgment in regard to the relation 
of the Germans to our brethren, as well as of the 
progressive German Jews to the Jewish people, too 
severe and dogmatic. You say that there are many 
noble spirits among the Grermans who have banished 
from their hearts every trace of race prejudice and 
are permeated with the spirit of justice and human- 
ity. And as for the progressive Jews, you think that 
niany of them have always displayed a fine spirit of 
self-sacrifice when the honor of their religion or the 
welfare of their brethren called for it ; and that those 
noble spirits came principally from the ranks of those 
who distinguished themselves in the field of science, 
or commerce, or industry, and thus acquired high 
positions in society. To these just strictures I will- 
ingly subscribe, for I admit that my judgment was 
too general in its character, and it can only be justi- 
fied by the fact that it was written under the infiu- 



ence of the Damascus affair. To-day I would hesi- 
tate very much before subscribing to it. It cannot 
enter my mind, at present, to deny the Teutonic race, 
and especially the Grerman people, whose mental power 
I esteem so hi^y, the ability to rise, by means of 
progress, above race prejudice. The Grerman spirit 
has other representatives than patriotic Romanticists 
and philosophic book-dealers. A nation that produced 
men like Lessing, Herder, Schiller, Hegel, Humboldt 
and many more champions of humanity, must cer- 
tainly possess the ability to rise to the heights of 
spirituality and ideidism. 

It occurs to me, in connection with what was said 
before, to relate a story, which will demonstrate the 
ability of the Grerman spirit to overcome race preju- 
dice. It was told to me by Ludwig Wihl. You have 
certainly heard of Hecker, who played such an im- 
portant role in the political affairs of Baden in the 
forties, and even as late as the famous revolutionary 
year, 1848. A pure Grerman, of noblest birth, he 
began to attract attention in Baden by his much- 
heralded liberalism, immediately after the year of the 
Damascus affair. But do you know against which 
of the '^hereditary enemies" this knight of Grerman 
liberalism directed his attacks? Against the French, 
you will say? No, this hereditary enemy was rather 
harmless at the time, and under the leadership of 
Guizot and Louis Philippe. Was it against the Rus- 
sians? Not against them. The hereditary enemy, 
in the attack against which Hecker won his spurs, 
was none other than the terrible and mighty people, 


the Jews. Hecker puUIshed a series of anonymous 
articles in the Frankfurter Jowmal against the eman- 
cipation of the Jews. A few years afterward it was 
this same Hecker who addressed a memorial, on be- 
half of Baden, to the Berlin Landtag of the Con- 
federacy, favoring the emancipation of the Jews. 
And when people reproached him for his former op- 
position to the Jews, he openly confessed, that for a 
long time he had been unable to overcome his an- 
tipathy to the Jews, but that finally the principle of 
justice and humanity had triumphed in him. 

The democrats of 1848 undoubtedly fully demon- 
strated their superiority over the demagogues of the 
^War of Liberation,'^ the Romantic lads of the Jahn 
and Amdt type, whom they left far behind on the 
road of progress. And yet, on the basis of my long 
experience, I feel inclined to assert that Grermany as 
a whole, in spite of its collective intellectuality, is in 
its practical social life far behind the rest of the 
civilized nations of Europe. The race war must first 
be fought out and definitely settled before social and 
humane ideas become part and parcel of the Grerman 
people, as was the case with the Romance peoples 
which, after a long historical process, finally defeated 
race antagonism. 

Willing as I am to correct my judgment in regard 
to Grerman Anti-Semitism, I am still more willing to 
alter my former opinion, in accordance with your 
strictures, of our progressive Occidental Jews, and 
especially those of Grermany. Of late there is to be 
observed in Judaism a wholesome spirit of reaction 


against the once dominating tendency of cosmopoli- 
tan philanthropy, that vague form of humanity 
which, as Jean Jacques Rousseau aptly remarked, 
professes to love men in general, so as not to be 
burdened with the immediate duties of benevolence to 
the individual. Signs of endeavor to introduce into 
Judaism a more healthy and natural spirit, I notice 
everywhere: in America, where new Jewish communi- 
ties are founded and synagogues built every year; in 
France, where an attempt was made to found an 
AUiance Israelite UniverseUe, which may become an 
important factor in Jewish life, provided it be ani- 
mated by a thorough Jewish national spirit; in the 
German and French literatures, where writers like 
Kompert, Strauben, Weill and Bernstein have por- 
trayed Jewish life faithfully and beautifully, and with 
no small measure of success. But most of all is this 
tendency to regeneration prominent in the literature 
devoted to the science of Judaism, which, since the 
publication of the epoch-making History of the Jews, 
by Graetz, has developed such force that it will soon 
be able to overcome the nebulous Christianizing spir- 
itualism of the assimilators. 

Still earlier, Gabriel Riesser, one of our most pro- 
gressive German Jews, had the courage to name his 
magazine, devoted to the interests of our political 
and civil rights. The Jew?- Dr. Ludwig Philipson, 
also, did not hesitate to callliis spiritual child by the 
name Israel. Again, among the lyric poets, we have 
Ludwig Wihl, who uses his muse to sing of the great 

« See Note IV at eiid of book. 


memories of our limnortal nation. It is certainly a 
sign of the times that Ludwig Wihl's WesioitUche 
Schwalbefk, which for the last fifteen years hardly 
made any impression in Grermany» was recently trans- 
lated into French, with an introduction which at- 
tracted the attention of the French press to the 
Jewish people. Pierre Mercier, the French translator 
of the Sohwalben in his Essai sur la Litieratwre Jwoet 
an essay on Jewish Literature, expresses his opinion 
of this literature in a way which I cannot fully en- 
dorse. He views Judaism in the same way that Jesus 
did, namely, from the narrow and one-sided point of 
view of spiritualism. Yet his conception of the spirit 
that dominates the Torah is, in spite of its defects, 
vastly superior in its depth of historical understand- 
ing and broadness of sympathy with the Jewish ge- 
nius, to those of the German historians who carry 
their Jew-hatred even to the Bible. 

More interesting is his judgment of modem Jewish 
literature, which he considers an antidote against the 
modem decadent romantic literature. But he errs 
when he thinks that the wholesome source of this 
modem Jewish literature is Jewish spiritualization. 
Jewish life was never wholly spiritualized. Even the 
Essenes, who flourished among the Jews at the time 
of the birth of Christianity and to whom Christianity 
owes its origin, were not a thoroughly spiritualistic 
sect, and not even the primitive Christians can be 
considered as such. When the Essenic sect finally 
did become spiritualized through Christianity, it sev- 
ered its rdations with Judaism, and not even a trace 


of it can be found.^ Almost every important point 
of departure in the history of the development of the 
great historical nations was accompanied by move- 
ments within that nation which is the bearer and 
creator of historical religion. The passing from 
antiquity into the Middle Ages, this autumn equinox 
of humanity, was heralded by ^reat and stormy dis- 
turbances within Judaism which gave rise to Chris- 
tianity, on the one hand, and to those sects within 
the pale of Judaism itself, on the other. But the 
sects were not of an enduring character; as soon as 
the crisis passed, they disappeared without leaving 
any traces behind. Also to-day, during the spring 
equinox of humanity, will the glorious future to which 
we strive be heralded by movements in Judaism. And 
although the world has not taken any cognizance of 
these stirrings in Judaism as yet, they are not there- 
fore of less value than those that took place at the 
transition period from antiquity to the Middle Ages. 
Already at the beginning of the modem period, a 
Messianic movement, such as never occurred since the 
destruction of the Jewish State at the time of Bar 
Kochba, took hold of Eastern as well as Occidental 
Jews, a movement the false prophet of which was 
Sabbatai Zevi, but whose true prophet was Spinoza. 
Our modern Sadducees, Pharisees and Essenes, also-— 

iCf^ on Jewish sects, Graets, Hiitary of th§ Jews, Vol. Ill, 
note 10, Gemuui edition, and VoL II in English. LuKato^ also 
expresses himself in connection witii Us remarks on Essoiian- 
ism, decidedly against spiritualiEation and asceticism as being 
antagonistic to tlie spirit of JndidsnL See his Commentary 
on Dent ▼!, 6. 


I mean the reformers, the rabbmists and the Chasi- 
dim ^ — ^wiU disappear from Jewish history after the 
crisis has passed, the last crisis in universal history, 
when all the nations, and with them the Jewish people, 
will have awakened to a new life. Judaism does not 
allow either spiritualistic or materialistic sects to ex- 
ist in its midst. Jewish life, like its divine ideal and 
goal, is undivided, and it is this Monism of Jewish 
life which acts as an antidote against modem mate- 
rialism, which is only the reverse side of Christian 
spiritualism. I do not speak here of philosophical 
systems or of religious dogmas, or of life concep- 
tions, but of life itself. Life is a product of the 
mental activity of the race, which forms its social 
institutions according to its inborn instincts and typ- 
ical inclinations. Out of this primitive life-forming 
source springs later the life-view of a race, which in 
its turn influences life or rather modifies it, but is 
never able to alter essentially the primal type which 
continually reappears and takes the ascendency.^ 

It was the German race that endowed the Christian 
world with the double aspect of spiritualism and ma- 
terialism. The author of the EgscA stir la Litterature 
Jmve is right when he says that we are exceedingly 
generous in giving the entire credit for the modern 
love mania to Christianity. It is rather due to the 
mediaeval feeling of chivalry. The circumstances 
which produced this romantic sentimentality arose, 
not from the influence of Christianity alone, but from 

2 See Note V at end of book. 
sCf. Epilogue. 


the combination of Christianity with old Germanic 
traditions. Without the contribution of the race 
genius of the Northern peoples, Christianity would 
have never occupied that position in universal his- 
tory which it has occupied for centuries. Had it not 
been for those brave adventurers, the Teutonic 
knights of the Middle Ages, whose personal life os- 
cillated between the two opposite poles of gross sen- 
sualism and the most abstract mysticism. Christian 
dualism would never have succeeded in impressing 
modem life so thoroughly and deeply. Thus it is not 
theory that forms life, but race; and likewise, it is 
not doctrine that made the Biblical-patriarchal life, 
which is the source of the Jewish cult, but it is the 
patriarchal life of the Jewish ancestors that is the 
creative basis of the religion of the Bible, which is 
nothing else but a national historical cult developed 
out of family traditions. 

Before the appearance of the Grermanic races, there 
were only two forms of religion, the natural and the 
historical. The first found its typical expression in 
Greece, the second in Judaea. Just as the Greek cult 
had brought to light the perfection and charm of 
Nature, so Judaism revealed to us the force of the 
divine law in history. With the entrance of the Ger- 
manic race, both natural and historical religion lost 
their hold over the human mind and their influence 
was replaced by an apotheosis of the individual. 
Christianity found among the Northern races a natu- 
ral inclination for that which in Christianity itself 
was only a result of the decay of the ancient nation- 


alities, namely, that view of life which sees neither in 
Nature nor in history the unified divine life, but only 
the isolated existence of the individual.^ 

As long as the Grermanic race dominates Europe, 
there can be no development of national life. The 
^'religion of love," separated from natural and his- 
torical life, had only the salvation of the individual 
soul in view. The apotheosis of the individual ter- 
minated finally in a sentimental, feminine cult, which 
even to the present day possesses great attraction 
for our romantic Jews and inspires in them a sym- 
pathy for Christianity. 

^^Love," says Mercier, *Vas glorified and extolled, 
in all forms, as the noblest aim in life. The virtue 
of women, and even their vice, assumed an undue and 
all too important place in life, so that woman herself 
came to believe that the fate of the world depends 
upon her fidelity or infidelity. She therefore shared 
the fate of all those whom fortune has fondled too 
excessively, namely, through undue flattery she be- 
came corrupted. And so it happened that love ab- 
sorbed all social forces, all family tradition, and 
finally dissolved itself into sentimentality. 

The Jews alone had the good sense to subordinate 
sexual to maternal love. Alexander Weill puts the 
following words in the mouth of a Jewish mother: 
"Should a true Jewish mother care for love? Love 
is a wicked form of idolatry. A Jewess must love 
only her God, her parents and her children. . . ." 
The little old grandmother in Kompert's story says : 
*See Note VI at end of boolc. 


^Grod cannot be present everywhere at the same time; 
He therefore created the mother • • ." Maternal 
love is represented in the Jewish novel as the basis 
of family life, as its passion and mystery. It is the 
same type of the Jewish mother which is repeated in 
all Jewish novels. There rises before me the picture 
of the Jewish mother, her face serene but pale, a 
melancholy smile plays around her lips and her deep, 
penetrating eye seems to gaze toward the distant 

When you read these words of Mercier, you will 
certainly be reminded of your own mother, to whom 
this description aptly applies. There arose before 
me, also, on reading this description of the Jewish 
mother, the image of my own mother, whose features 
I still remember. I lost her in my youth at the age 
of fourteen, but till recently she appeared to me 
almost every night in my dreams, and I remember her 
words, as if they were uttered but yesterday, which 
she spoke to me when she visited me in Bonn. We 
were already in bed and had just finished the evening 
prayer. Then, speaking in an animated voice, she 
began : '^Listen, my child, you must study diligently. 
Mohrich ^ was one of my ancestors, and you are for- 
tunate that you are studying under your grandfather. 
It is written that Vhen grandfather and grandchild 
study the Torah together, the study of the divine Law 
will never more forsake the family, but will be handed 

s M'H'R'CH, the initials of one of the later rabbinical writers 
who fled from Pdand into Germany so as to save his wife fnm 
the forced attentions of a Polish nobleman. — Tramlatar, 



down from generation to generation.' " ® The words 
of my mother must have impressed me deeply, for I 
still remember them distinctly, although I have never 
since heard nor read about the legend in regard to 
grandfather and grandchild. 

Thus the thought of his children constitutes the 
central point around which the life and love of the 
Jew moves. Love is too strong an emotion in the 
Jewish heart, too vast, to spend itself in sexual at- 
traction and not embrace in its depth the generations 
of the future. And because of the fact that the eye 
of Jewish love is turned toward the future, the Jewish 
people has produced so many holy seers. A childless 
union is nowhere so much deplored as among the 
Jews. According to the rabbis, a childless man is 
like unto the dead. Only the Jews could heartily 
join the great French poet, Victor Hugo, in his 

Preserve my loved ones, Lord, I pray. 

My kith and kin, — my enemies spare. 

That never in the evil day 

Our summers may of flowers be bare. 

Our cages lacking trilling key. 

Our honeycombs devoid of bee. 

Or childless house to ever see. 

I close with the above verses cited by Mercier, a 
subject which we discussed at some length,*^ but in 

«The words of my mother have their origin in a Talmudic 
saying (Baba Metsiah, 85a) which utilizes the words of the 
verse, Ecdesiastes iv, 13: **And a threefold cord cannot be 
quickly broken." 

THess refers to the translation of the "Schwalben" poems 


the interests of the national regeneration of our peo- 
ple, it must be constantly emphasized. If it is grati- 
fying to see that inspired poets and writers champion 
the cause of our nationality, it is still more fortunate 
that the loyalty to a people, with whose help the 
oppressed nation will reawaken, was not unknown 
among the Jews. What would this people, I mean 
the French, think of us, when during the springtime 
of nations, the daybreak of the French Revolution, 
not a sound of loyalty and sympathy was heard in 
the midst of our nation? But thanks to the French 
translator of the Schwalbenj the stain was removed 
from our name. Although neither Wihl nor the other 
Jewish writers and poets have expressed themselves 
for our own political regeneration, they have, at least, 
shown to the world that progressive Judaism also 
cherishes patriotic memories, and that through some 
stimulus this poetic and ideal patriotism may be con- 
verted into a strong and mighty force of action. 
And, therefore, I do not doubt, that from now on, 
progressive Jews will labor for the political regener- 
ation of our people with the same energy that other 
Jews, in other times, have labored for the emanci- 
pation of the Jews in the lands of exile. The spring- 
time of nations which is about to merge into the fruit- 
ripening Summer, wiU not pass without leaving a 
lasting impression upon our Occidental brethren. 
Among the Jews, also. Spring will quietly fructify 

hj Wihl which he discussed at length and which seem to ex- 
press a certain amount of enthusiasm for the French people.— 


the buds, and the bloom of a new life will suddenly 
surprise every beholder. The young Jewish genera- 
tion, sensitive to every high and noble ideal, will 
enthusiastically join the Jewish national movement; 
and once the young branch turns its growing force in 
that direction, even the barren trunk will soon be 
covered with leaves and flowers that will be an orna- 
ment to Israel. 

Till now, however, beloved friend, the barren wood 
preponderates in Occidental Judaism. Most of the 
German Jews, as soon as they come in contact with 
European civilization, begin to feel ashamed of their 
religion and descent. The Germans have so fre- 
quently and thoroughly demonstrated to us that our 
nationality is an obstacle to our ^^inner" emancipa- 
tion, that we have finally come to believe it ourselves 
and, giving up our Jewish culture and denying our 
race, have made every effort to be deserving of the 
^^blond" Germanism. Yet in spite of the excellent 
mathematicians among them, our Jewish Teutoma- 
niacs, who bartered away their Judaism for State 
positions, grossly miscalculated their chances. It did 
not avail Meyerbeer that he painstakingly avoided 
the use of a Jewish theme as the subject of any of 
his operas; he did not escape, on that account, the 
hatred of the Germans. The old honest Augtburger 
AUgemeine Zeittmg seldom refrained, while mention- 
ing his name, from remarking parenthetically, '* Jacpb 
Meyer Lippman Beer." The German patriot Boerne, 
likewise, did not gain much by changing his family 
name, Baruch, into that of Boerne. He admits it 


himself. .^Whenever my enemies founder upon the 
rock of Borne," he writes, '^they throw out, as an 
anchor of safety, the name Baruch.'' I have ex- 
perienced it personally, not- only with opponents, but 
even with my own party members. In personal con- 
troversy they always make use of the "Hep" weapon, 
and in Germany it is always effective. I have made 
it easy for them to wield their weapon by adopting 
my Old Testament name, Moses. I regret exceed- 
ingly that my name is not Itzig. 


The Reform trick and the uncritical reaction — Luther 
and Mendelssohn — The rationalistic double — The 
key to the religion of the future — The three epochs 
in the development of the Jewish spirit — Restoror 
tion of the Jexeish State, 

The question you asked me, the answer to 
which constitutes the most difficult problem of Nine- 
teenth Century Jewry, shows me that you have finally 
begun to interest yourself in Jewish affairs. You 
have, then, nothing against the attempt to raise the 
Jews once more to their former place in universal 
history. But you believe that this aspiration is 
merely a desire, and that at the present time, world 
Jewry consists only of a number of scattered and 
dispersed Jewish families, but is not a nation. The 
religious tie, which till now has bound the scattered 
members together and united them into a single en- 
tity, is now severed through the participation of Jews 
in the general cultural life. True, the reformers have 
tried to mend the situation, but they have succeeded 
only in widening the breach. And with barren ortho- 
doxy and the uncritical reactionaries — ^those who still 
believe that the Polish fur cap is a law given orally 
to Moses on Sinai and handed down by the sages — ^it 
is useless to argue. 



The inevitable result of this situation is, you think, 
indiiFerence and severance from Judaism. Nobody 
can be held responsible for this precarious situation, 
for it is not the arbitrariness of man, but the force 
of circumstances that has dissolved the unity of or- 
thodox Judaism. Which community, you ask, which 
synagogue, shall one who is still attached to his peo- 
ple, join? Again, you call out maliciously, shall we 
condemn our Jewish scholars for their attempt to 
give us, in lieu of the ^^externally shattered" hard 
shell of Rabbinism, the light of Science? 

No, my dear friend, we will not hold anyone re- 
sponsible for a crisis, though a dangerous one, but 
one which is, after all, wholesome and necessary. No 
human power could have avoided it, but its gravest 
symptoms are gradually disappearing and we have 
no fear of its repetition. Judaism, which in its first 
contact with modem civilization was threatened with 
dissolution — ^we say it without fear of being contra- 
dicted by history — ^has successfully withstood this 
last danger, perhaps the greatest that ever threatened 
its existence. Judaism, at present, expects no antag- 
onism either from science or from life, but only from 
those who pose as its representatives without having 
the right to do so. 

Far be it from me to minimize the untiring labor 
of the Jewish scholars to whom our present Jewish 
generation owes its education, social position, and 
mental and moral progress, and whom alone we have 
to thank for the fact that in the midst of an almost 
universal social disintegration the Jewish family still 


serves as a modd of moral conduct. These scholars 
and teachers are the successors of the ancient raUns, 
who were the support and stay of Judaism during 
the long two thousand year exile, and who, neverthe- 
less, never formed themselves into a caste. 

Yet even they, like our poets, are so much en- 
grossed by the general current of life, that they 
hardly devote any time to thought about our national 
regeneration. And as with the Jewish scholars, so 
is it with the young generation ; they need some ex- 
ternal stimulus to rouse their dormant national feel- 
ings, so that they will proclaim thonsdves openly as 
Jewish patriots. The threatening danger to Judaism 
comes only from the religious reformers who, with 
their newly-invented ceremonies and empty eloqumce 
have sucked the marrow out of Judaism and left only 
its skeleton. It was not enough for them to aspire 
to spread and develop Jewish study on scientific prin- 
ciples, nor were they satisfied with a regulated, aes- 
thetic form of our ancient Jewish cult. Their re- 
ligious reform was inopportunely borrowed from a 
foreign rdigious denomination, and has no basis or 
justification either in the conditions of the modem 
world or in the essential teachings of national Ju- 
daism. I do not deny the justification of the Chris- 
tieai Reformation at the time of Luther, nor of the 
Jewish reform movement at the time of Mendelssohn. 
Hhe latter, however, was more of an aesthetic than 
a religious or scientific reform. Those reformers 
keenly appreciated the historical basis of a religion 
and knew wdl that the old basis cannot be arbitrarily 


replaced by a new one. Our reformers, on the con- 
trary, attempted to reform the basis itself. Their 
reforms have only a negative purpose — ^if they have 
any aim at cdl — ^to firmly establish unbelief in the 
national foundation of the Jewish religion. No won- 
der that these reforms only fostered indifference to 
Judaism and conversions to Christianity. Judaism, 
like Christianity, would have to disappear as a result 
of the general state of enlightenment and progress, 
if it were not more than a mere dogmatic religion, 
namely, a national cult. The Jewish reformers, how- 
ev^ those who are still present in some German 
communities, and maintain, to the best of their abil- 
ity, the theatrical show of religious reform, know 
so little of the value of national Judaism, that they 
are at great pains to erase carefully from their creed 
and worship all traces of Jewish nationalism. They 
fancy that a recently manufactured prayer or hymn 
book, wherein a philosophical theism is put into rhyme 
and accompanied by music, is more elevating and 
soul-stirring than the fervent Hebrew prayers which 
express the pain and sorrow of a nation at the loss 
of its fatherland. They forget that these prayers, 
which not only created, but preserved for millenni- 
ums, the unity of Jewish worship, are even to-day 
the tie which binds into one people all the Jews scat- 
tered around the globe.^ 

ilf the refonners cannot entirely supplant the prayers bj 
hymns, they attempt, at least, to amend them. Dr. Hirsch, 
Rabbi of Luxemburg, changed the expression "who restorest 
thy divine presence unto Zion," in the Eighteen Benedictkna, 


The efforts of our German Jewish religious reform- 
ers tended to the conversion of our national and 
humanitarian Judaism into a second Christianity cut 
after a rationalistic pattern, at a time when Chris- 
tianity itself was already in a state of disintegration. 
Christianity, which came into existence on the graves 
of the ancient nations, had to withdraw from partici- 
pation in national life. It therefore must continue 
to suffer from internal dissensions arising from the 
constant clash of irreconcilable principles, until it is 
finally replaced among the regenerated nations by a 
new historical cult. To this coming cult, Judaism 
alone holds the key. This "religion of the future'* 
of which the eighteenth century {)hilosophers, as well 
as their recent followers, dreamed, will neither be an 
imitation of the ancient pagan Nature cult, nor a 
reflection of the neo-Christian or the neo-Judaism 
skeleton, the specter of which haunts the minds of 
our religious reformers. Each nation will have to 
create its own historical cult; each people must be- 
come, like the Jewish people, a people of God. 

Judaism is not threatened, like Christianity, with 
danger from the nationalistic and humanistic aspira- 
tions of our time, for in reality, these sentiments 

to 'Vhmn alone we serve in reverence." Some refonners are 
satisfied to omit from the Prayer Book the beautiful hymn 
Yigdaly for the reason that the belief in the Messianic age is 
poetically expressed in this song. It seems that the reformers 
think that tlie Messianic belief, which is the soul of Judaism, 
found its expression only in these few prayers and poems, and 
they cannot conceive that it Is the underlying basis of the 
wbde Jewish Cult 


belong to the very essence of Judaism. It is a very 
prevalent error, most likely borrowed from Chris- 
tianity, that an entire view of life can be compressed 
into a single dogma. I do not agree with Men- 
delssohn that Judaism has no dogmas. I claim that 
the divine teaching of Judaism was never, at any 
time, completed and finished. It has always kept on 
developing, its development being based upon the 
harmonizing of the Jewish genius with that of life 
and humanity. Development of the knowledge of 
Grod, through study and conscientious investigation, 
is not only not forbidden in Judaism, but is even 
considered a religious duty. This is the reason why 
Judaism never excluded philosophical thought or even 
condemned it, and also why it has never occurred to 
any good Jew to '^reform" Judaism according to 
his philosophical conceptions. Hence there were no 
real sects in Judaism. Even recently, when there 
was no lack of orthodox and heterodox dogmatists 
in Jewry, there arose no sects ; for the dogmatic basis 
of Judaism is so wide, that it allows free play to 
every mental speculation and creation. Differences of 
opinion in regard to metaphysical conceptions have 
always obtained among the Jews, but Judaism has 
never excluded anyone. The apostates severed them- 
selves from the bond of Jewry. "And not even them 
has Judaism forsaken," added a learned rabbi, in 
whose presence I expressed the above-quoted opinion. 
In reality, Judaism as a nationality has a natural 
basis which cannot be set aside by mere conversion 
to another faith, as is the case in other religions. 


A Jew belongs to his race and consequentiij also to 
Judaism, in spite of the fact that he or his ancestors 
have become apostates. It may appear paradoxical, 
according to our modem religious opinions, but in 
life, at least, I have observed this view to be true. 
The converted Jew remains a Jew no matter how 
much he objects to it. At present, there is but little 
difference between the enlightened and the converted 

Jew. My friend, Armond L 9 whose grandfather 

had already been converted, is more interested in 
Jewish affairs than many a circumcised Jew, and he 
has preserved his faith in Jewish nationality more 
faithfully than our enlightened rabbis. 

The Jew was not commanded to believe, but to 
search after the knowledge of Grod. Belief is a mat- 
ter of conscience, for which we are not accountabk 
to anyone but ourselves. It is impossible to give it 
to another. It is very easy, indeed, for false ration^- 
alism, just as for blind faith, to drawl forth its creed. 
But real religion, which grows out of the innermost 
life of the soul, develops with the individual. Hu* 
manity cannot be formulated completely and on- 
braced in a set of articles of creed. On the wide, 
dogmatic basis of Judaism, many and various views 
of life were aUe to develop. But for creative Ju- 
daism itself, these various views of life were only 
passing phases, the result of internal and external 
experiences ; and in spite of this multiplicity of forms 
of development, the original type never disappeared, 
but was constantly reproduced as the ripe fruit of 
the tree of life. 


The noble Jewish spirits and the great thinkers of 
Israel understood this peculiar character of histori- 
cal Judaism. They did see in every modification of 
the view of life a new religion, and never persuaded 
themselves that they could reform the historical basis 
of our rdigion. Saadia and Maimonides, Spinoza and 
Mendelssohn did not become apostates, in spite of 
their progressive spirit, though there were many 
fanatics who wanted to exclude them from Judaism, 
or, as in the case of Spinoza, had him excluded. Our 
modem rationalists would excommunicate from the 
Synagogue Jews who declare themselves Spinozists, 
if they only had the power. 

Dissatisfied with reform and repulsed by the fanat- 
icism of the orthodox and heterodox, you ask me, 
with which religious faction should one affiliate with 
his family in these days? I know only one religious 
fellowship, the old S3magogue, which is fortunately 
still in existence and will, I hope, exist until the 
national regeneration of world Jewry is accomplished. 
I myself, had I a family, would, in spite of my dog- 
matic heterodoxy, not only join an orthodox syna- 
gogue, but would also observe in my house all feast 
and fast days, so as to keep alive in my heart and in 
the heart of my children, the traditions of my people. 
If I had influence in the synagogue, I would en- 
deavor to beautify the religious worship. Above all, 
I would see to it that scholarly Jewish teachers and 
preachers should assmne their proper positions and 
be reverently respected. I would then turn my hand 
to other reforms, if you care to call them such, but of 


a different kind than those spiritless and empty 
forms favored by our religious reformers. No ancient 
custom or usage should be changed, no Hebrew- 
prayer should be shortened or read in German trans- 
lation. Andy finally, no Sabbath or Festival should 
be abolished or be postponed to the Christian day of 
rest. The Hazan and singers should not be mere 
soulless singing machines. The prayers and hymns 
should be read and sung by pious men and boys, who 
are not only versed in music, but also in religious mat- 
ters. The house of prayer is not a theater and the 
cantor and singers, as well as the preacher, should be 
something more than mere comedians. What does 
not come from the heart can never affect the heart. 
Prayers, songs and sermons, which treat our holy 
national worship as an antiquated institution, cannot 
exalt the soul; they always arouse in me an uncon- 
querable aversion. In a word, I would favor every- 
thing which would contribute to the elevation and 
education of the congregation, without, at the same 
time, undermining our ancient worship. And in my 
own family circle, also, I would carefully see that 
the traditions of our people are strictly observed. 

If people were to follow the policy outlined above, 
peace would reign in Jewish communities, and the 
religious cravings of every Jew, no matter what view 
of life he holds, would ""be better satisfied than they 
are with the reforms that every intellectual bungler 
fashions after his own individual pattern. These 
unsystematic reforms only terminate in a meaning- 
less nihilism, which brings in its train desolation of 


spirit and a continual estrangement from Judaism on 
the part of our young generation. 

We reafly confer too much honor upon reform when 
we call it a free, intellectual movement, in the higher 
sense. True, in a negative sense, we may call ration- 
alistic criticism a free tendency, for the negation of 
antiquated principles is the first step toward free- 
dom. But positive freedom is an autonomous devel- 
opment, and when rationalistic reform denies the es- 
sence of Judaism, namely, its nationalism, it cannot 
become a creative factor, and consequently cannot 
be said to be free in the hij^er sense. Its services on 
behalf of negative criticism are very slight; and 
these, as you rightly remarked, are for the most 
part, due to the circumstances and conditions of a 
revolutionary age for which the reformers can hardly 
be held responsible. 

Modem social life, the outcome of the revolution, 
is regenerating in its nature; it does not occupy 
itself solely with tearing down the old, but is mainly 
busy with creating new forms. At the basis of 
every creation, however, there is something of the old, 
for ew nihUo mhU^ out of nothing, nothing can be 
created. The national-humanitarian essence of the 
Jewish historical religion is the germ out of which 
future social creations will spring forth. As long as 
Jews misconceive the essence of the spirit of modern 
times, which was originally their own spirit, they will 
only be dragged along involuntarily by the current 
of modem history, but will not participate in its 
making. In order to be influenced by modern life, 


there was no necessity for rationalistic reform. Such 
countries as the Rhine proyinces and France clearly 
demonstrate this. In these countries the currait of 
modem life is at its height, yet rationalistic, religious 
reform has hardly appeared there. It is in these 
countries, too, that religious indifference has been 
brought about without the help of a reform move- 
ment. Even orthodox Jewry itself, in modem Eu- 
rope, is gradually being carried away by the current, 
as can be seen by the fact that the most important 
function of Rabbinism, namely, its jurisdiction, has 
disappeared, without the slightest protest on the 
part of orthodoxy.^ Reform has only gone a step 
further — ^to raise this groundless negation to the rank 
of a principle, or, as remarked above, has sanctioned 
unbelief. We could well afford not to begrudge the 
reformers their laurels, had they not persuaded them- 
selves that they had created something positive. Imi- 
tating Christian reformers of an earlier age, they 
set up the Bible, in contradistinction to the Talmud, 
as the positive content of regenerated Judaism, and 
by this anachronism, which was merdy an imitation 
of a foreign movement, they only made themselves 
ridiculous. It is, in reality, a narrower point of view 
than that of orthodox Judaism, to declare the living, 

2 Hess refers to the rabbinical courts and the jurisdiction 
they had exercised in civil cases between Jew and Jew. Hie 
power of these courts in Western Jewish communities began 
to decline as early as the beginning of the 19th Century, and 
was completely abrogated by the middle of the century. In 
Russia and other parts of Eastern Jewry, the Rabbinic courts 
are still maintained In most Jewish communities.— 'Tranflator. 


oral tpadition to be a ^%iiman fiction," and because 
it was written down at a later time, to discard it, 
while admitting the law of the Bible to be divine. 
This view is also unhistorical. Everything tends to 
show that until the Babylonian exile, or even still 
later, until the period of the Sopherim, no distinc- 
tion was made between the written and the oral laws, 
as is the case to-day. It is only after the time of 
the Sopherim that this distinction was made. Until 
then, tradition was neither exclusively written nor 
exclusively oral. How this separation was effected 
has not yet been clearly demonstrated by critical 
historians. But one thing is firmly established, 
namely, that the spirit which at the time of the 
restoration inspired the Sopherim and the sages of 
the Great Synagogue, was freer, holier, and more 
patriotic, than the spirit which inspired Moses and 
the Proj^ets. Every liberation from a politico- 
social slavery is at the same time a liberation of the 
spirit and serves as a means of fertilizing the na- 
tional genius. 

There are two epochs that mark the development 
of Jewish law: the first, after the liberation from 
Egypt ; the second, after the return from Babylonia. 
The third is yet to come, with the redemption from 
the third exile. The significance of the second legis- 
lative epoch is more misunderstood by our reformers 
(who have no conception of the creative genius of 
the Jewish nation), than by our rabbis, who place 
the law-givers of this period even higher than Moses, 
for they say: **Ezra would have deserved that the 


Torah be given to Israel through him, had not Moses 
preceded him." In the form in which we possess it 
to-day, the Torah was handed down to us directly 
through the men of that epoch. These same men, 
living at the same time, utilizing the same traditions, 
and in the same spirit, collected both the written and 
the oral law, which they handed down to later genera- 
tions. Nothing entitles the written law to a holier 
origin than the oral. On the contrary, the free de- 
vdopment of the law by oral tradition, from the time 
of the return from the Babylonian exile, was always 
considered of greater importance than the mere ding- 
ing to the written law. The reason for this is quite 
evident. The national legislative genius would have 
been extinguished, had the sages not occupied them- 
selves with the living development of the law. It 
was to this occupation that Judaism owed its na- 
tional renaissance after the Babylonian exile, as weD 
as its existence in the diaspora. It was through this, 
that the great heroes who fought so bravely against 
the Greeks and Romans, rose in Israel. And, finally, 
it is to this oral development of the law that Judaism 
owes its existence during the two thousand years of 
exile; and to it the Jewish people will also owe its 
future national regeneration. 

The rabbis were justified in their long struggle 
against writing down the oral law. Had they kept 
on teaching and developing the law orally in the 
schools, Judaism would never have been threatened 
with the loss of its national legislative genius. But 
they were compelled to reduce the law to writing, in 


order to avoid a still greater danger, namdy, its 
being entirely forgotten, especially in the diaspora. 
To-day, we have no reason to fear the latter danger. 
But we can escape the former, only if we set up the 
spirit of criticism against barren formalism and dis- 
solving rationalism and revive in our hearts and 
souls the holy, patriotic spirit of our prophets and 
sages. We have to restudy our history, which has 
been grossly neglected by our rationalists, and re- 
kindle in the hearts of our young generation the 
spirit which was the source of inspiration to our 
prophets and sages. Then, also, will we draw our 
inspiration from the deep well of Judaism ; then will 
our sages and wise men regain the authority which 
they forfeited from the moment when, prompted by 
other motives than patriotism, they estranged them- 
selves from Judaism and attempted to reform the 
Jewish law. We will then again become participa- 
tors in the holy spirit, namely, the Jewish genius, 
which alone has the right to develop and form the 
Jewish law according to the needs of the people. 
And then, when the third exile will finally have come 
to an end, the restoration of the Jewish State will 
find us ready for it. 


The NeO'Hebraic literature — Luzzato^ Rappoport^ 
Frankelf Krochmai^ Sachs and Heine an Judah 
Halevi — Mendelssohn and the Modernists — Schorr 
— Sectarians without sects — Salvador — Fusionists 
and Freemasons — Hirsch — The pretended calling 
of the Jew in eanle. 

You are certainly in error, dear friend, when you 
believe that only our progressive Jews have, acquired 
the mastery of modem culture and science and that 
orthodox Jews are still steeped in Egyptian darkness, 
a condition which is as detrimental to the renaissance 
of our nation as is modem indifference. Since I 
have devoted myself to the cause of my people, I have, 
partly through personal contact and partly throu^ 
their writings, come to know many orthodox Jews 
of the old as well as of the younger generation and 
especially of the latter, who do not fall behind the 
enlightened Jews, in scientific and literary education. 
These scholars have, at the same time, a more thor^ 
ough understanding and conception of the past as 
well as of the future, than those enlightened minds 
who lack the philosophic and historical sense. 

Orthodox Jewry everywhere, in England, France, 
Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Bohemia, has 
its literary and scientific representatives who are a's 



worthy as those of enlightened Jewry. Newspapers, 
magazines and even philosophical books, permeated 
with the same spirit of true humanitarianism as the 
nation to which they belong, are published by our 
orthodox brethren in the sacred tongue of their 
fathers. Hebrew literature, thanks to the works of 
Luzzato, Rappoport, Frankd and Krochmal, was 
reawakened to new life, and already a niunber of 
educated modem German rabbis conduct their cor- 
respondence in Hebrew. Even Holdheim himself did 
not disdain to compose his swan song in Hebrew; and 
Schorr, a more violent opponent of orthodoxy than 
Holdheim, publishes his periodical Hachaluix in 
Hebrew. How great must the influence exerted by 
National Judaism be, when even its opponents are 
forced to employ its own medium in order to gain a 

Read the work of Dr. Sachs, The ReUgicfu Poetry 
of the Spofdih Jews. This book, written in the finest 
style, will convince you that educated orthodox Jews 
exert a far more wholesome influence on Judaism than 
the reformers. The last only reflect, on the ruins of 
a fossilized orthodoxy, a cold, borrowed light of a 
by-gone epoch, without possessing either the light 
or the warmth of new life themselves. You perhaps 
know, from reading Heine's RofnancerOf the tragic 
end of this great patriot and sacred singer, Judah 
Halevi who, according to the legend, met his death 
at the ruins of the Temple at Jerusalem, whither he 
was driven by his irresistible longing to visit the land 
of his fathers. You will certainly be interested to 


learn a few things about the life and character of 
this pious bard who enriched our prayer book with 
his beautiful and noble poems. ^^The one," says Dr. 
Sachs, ^Srho cannot theoretically conceive the solu- 
tion of the problem, how a dispersed people may 
possess a nationality and a homeless nation a father- 
land, will find in the personality of this great singer 
and in his poetry, a practical solution to that prob- 
l^n." I must here remark that the Judso-Spanish 
cultural epoch succeeded in solving one more grave 
problem, namely, how it is possible to be a good, pa- 
triotic, national Jew, in the full sense of the word, 
and at the same time participate in the cultural and 
political life of the land to such a degree that the 
land may become a second fatherland. ^^The longing 
for the hour of redemption," continues Sachs, '^is the 
dominant note in the Jewish poetry of the Spanish 
period. With many, it was the oppressive conditions 
of existence that called forth that irrepressible long- 
ing. But with Halevi, this longing is a pure, loving 
desire, which possesses, on the one hand, the simplicity 
and naivete of childhood and, on the other, the glow 
of a mighty passion. The energy and vividness with 
which he expresses his confidence in the redemption 
of his people is only the more gripping, because of 
the fact that in his poetry there is no trace of the 
gloomy present, and his hope of the future does not 
appear to be the result of a daring escape from the 
dark environment which surrounds him, into the shin- 
ing regions of phantasy. He is confident of his cause 
and the joy of his belief intoxicates and inspires him." 


This confidence and joy of belief remind me vividly 
of my pious grandfather. Whenever they spoke to 
him of plans for the future, he €dways objected to 
making such plans, remarking that we Jews, being in 
exile, have no right to plan for the future, as the 
Messiah may suddenly arrive. My grandfather was 
neither a poet nor a prophet; he was only a plain 
business man, who in the daytime attended to his 
routine work, that he might support his family and 
in the night devoted himself to religious and scholarly 
studies. After the dispersion, study became, as you 
can find again in Sachs, an essential and inseparable 
part of the national cult. "The house of study," he 
says, ^^came the only central point of an independ- 
ent, free life, and the teachers were the bearers of all 
ideals which were typical and characteristic of na- 
tional Judaism." The Synagogue was rather a school- 
house than a house of prayer. Even to the present 
day, it is still designated, by the German Jews, as 
"Schul." The typical national cult, finding its ex- 
pression in the study and in the minute observance of 
thousands of precepts with which Judaism fenced 
it£(elf around in order to preserve its integrity in dis- 
persion, is misconceived by our enlightened Jews. 
These legal and religious precepts and command- 
ments, which permeate the whole life of the Jew, are 
condemned and mocked at by blockheads, who have 
not the least conception of the patriotic significance 
of these precepts and who consider themselves pro- 
gressive only because they have turned their back on 
the traditions of their people. It is the same ten- 


dency which came to the front immediately after the 
appearance of Mendelssohn and which caused Men- 
delssohn himself pain and aggravation. During the 
life of Mendelssohn, there emerged those ^'Modern 
Jews" who measure the degree of enlightenment and 
education one possesses by the amount of his dis- 
regard for Jewish customs, and who finally graduated 
into State-service by presenting a conversion certifi- 
cate as their diploma. They relate an anecdote which 
originated during that first epoch of Jewish enlight- 
enment and which is characteristic of that period. 
A Jew came to Mendelssohn and boasted of his son's 
philosophical ability. When the great Berlin phil- 
osopher asked the father wherein the philosophical 
acumen of his son consisted, the happy man replied, 
^^hy my son has not put on his tephiUin for 

You know that the use of phylacteries on the fore- 
head and the hand ori^nates in a Mosaic command. 
It is prescribed in the Pentateuch, that in order to 
remember the divine teaching, we should inscribe the 
words of God's law on the doorposts of our houses, 
and symbolize that teaching by wearing fringes on 
our garments, binding the phylacteries ''as a sign 
upon the arm and as frontlets between the eyes." We 
find pictures of garments with such fringes on the 
old Egyptian monuments, which proves that this 
custom is a very ancient one. But even assuming 
with Schorr that the custom of putting on phy- 
lacteries is not as old as that of wearing fringes on 
the garments, the results of Schorr's investigation 


were not known to that ^^enlightened" son and his 
happy father; just as they were unknown to the 
Berlin philosopher, who conscioitiously put on his 
tephSlm every day and observed all the Jewish cus- 
toms* The enlightened epikoros could by no means 
understand Mendelssohn's conscientious attachment 
to traditional Judaism. His relation to orthodox 
Judaism was not, as Mendelssohn persuaded himself, 
a logical result of his rationalism, but was a natural 
expression of his true Jewish spirit. His fine sense 
of religiosity told him, that when a man turns his 
back on tradition, he really severs himself from Ju- 
daism itself and from its national essence. It is one 
thing to restore Judaism, through unbiased historical 
criticism, to its origins ; it is quite another to discard 
it and belittle it through indifference and imitation. 
You, who declare the teacihings and ordinances of our 
sages to be foolish inventions, pray tell us what would 
have become of Judaism and the Jews if they had not, 
through the institutions of the Talmudic sages, 
thrown a protecting fence around their religion, so 
as to safeguard it for the coming days? Would they 
have continued to exist for eighteen hundred years 
and have resisted the influence of Christian and Mo- 
hammedan civilization? Would they not long ago 
have disappeared as a nation from the face of the 
earth, had they not, after they were driven out of 
their own land, created out of the confines of their 
own life, a sacred territory for their existence and a 
soil on which they could thrive? 

To those who lack the historical sense, the exist- 


ence of one nation more or less is of little importance 
for the historical development of humanity. The 
great organic creation of Jewish literature which, for 
the last three thousand years, was a gradual growth 
out of the national essence of Judaism, seems to the 
spiritual dwarfs, the rationalists, to be no more thfiui 
an unnecessary growth which, even in our age of en- 
lightenment, has not been sufficiently eradicated. 
These pygmies, who are living in an age of giants, do 
not realize that their very existence is an anachronism. 
As a precursor of the French Revolution, in the cen- 
tury of The Critiqtie of Pure Reason, the existence 
of rationalism was justified. But to-day, when the 
shackles of dogmatism have long been shaken off, we 
feel more the need of creating new values, and for 
this purpose utilize the creations of all ages, than 
the continuation of mere negative criticism which has, 
at present, but little value for us. The desire to 
create new veJues is felt even by those who are unable 
to discern the creative ability in the expressions of 
the Jewish spirit, and are thus unable to utilize the 
previous creations of Judaism as a basis. But in 
their ignorance and mental helplessness, they turned, 
in their desire for creation, to external, artificial 
means, which do not spring from the deep well of our 
people's life. 

In Jewry, as well as in the entire modem world, 
there are to be discovered at present, two main ten- 
dencies which, though diametrically opposed to each 
other, still originate from the same source, namely, 
the need of objective religious norms and the inability 


to create them. One tendency, as a result of the 
above-mentioned cause, expresses itself on the part 
of some people in turning back to the old uncritical 
belief which, however, with them, lost its naive and 
true character. In their despair, which arose as a 
result of the dominant nihilism they insist on a con- 
scious contradiction to all reason. This desperate 
reaction, which defies the results of criticism and 
spiritual revolution, is known in the Christian world 
as Supematuralism. In the Jewish world, it is rep- 
resented by Hirsch, of Frankfort A/M, and other 
less gifted spirits, as well as by a hbst of ignoramuses 
and hypocrites, whose association with it really les- 
sens its dignity. As an antidote against this re- 
action, the negative reform aspirations may possess 
some justification, even though, from the point of 
view of reason, they did not succeed in creating any 
stable solid life norms. The characteristic trait of 
the negative spiritual tendency, which labored in vain 
to create something of a general Jewish value, is its 
extreme individualism and incoherence. The modem 
religious reformers are sectarians without sects. 
Each of our Jewish Protestants has his own code. 
Out of this chaos of opinions there will undoubtedly 
in time develop a new Jewish life. But this new life, 
the beginnings of which are already noticeable in the 
activities of the younger generation of Jewish schol- 
ars, will bring entirely different results from those 
hitherto expected in the liberal circles of Grerman 

French Jewry, also, within which there is not as 


yety and perhaps there never will be, any cleavage on 
the lines of reform and orthodoxy, is not free from 
the traces of a tendency^which strives after a fusion 
of all historical cults into one, and which endeavors 
to reach its aim by removing from the various re- 
ligions their historical and characteristic trcdts, re- 
taining only their common elements. You have cer- 
tainly heard of Joseph Salvador, the author of the 
work entitled History of the Mosaic Institutions and 
of the Hebrew People. This same author recently 
published a work entitled Paris, Rome and Jerusalem^ 
in which he clearly shows that even among our en- 
lightened brethren, there are dreamers who wish for 
a rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem. But he 
attaches to this rebuilding conditions that are accept- 
able neither to pious nor to progressive Christians 
and Jews. If I understand the author correctly, he 
expects his New Jerusalem to become the world cap- 
ital of the fusionists. Salvador, furthermore, seems 
to cherish the curious idea that the Jews ought first 
to tunt Christians, so that they may be the better 
able to convert the Christians afterward to Judaism. 
This work is, in reality, not as new as Salvador 
thinks; it began eighteen hundred years ago. It 
seems, however, that the Judaism of which Salvador 
is thinking is as new as his Christianity. 

More reasonable are the attempts of those fusion- 
ists who, like my friend Hirsch, of Luxemburg, are 
utilizing freemasonry as a means to amalgamate all 
the historical cults into one. The Luxemburg Rabbi, 
the antipode of his namesake, the Frankfort Rabbi 


Hirsch, developed the idea of fusion so thoroughly in 
the excellent lectures which he delivered at the Lux- 
emburg Lodge, and later published under the title 
Humanity as a Religion^ that, according to him, the 
matter may be considered closed. All that remains 
for the rabbis to do is to close up their reform tem- 
ples and send the school children to the masonic tem- 
ples. In truth, the logical consequences of reform 
have long since led those who took the sermons of the 
reform rabbis seriously, toward making such a step ; 
as you, being a resident of Frankfort, well know. 
In vain did they afterward ornament their fusionist 
sermons with Talmudic quotations. It was too late 
and they had to be satisfied to preach to empty pews. 
Jewish rationalists, who have as little reason to 
remain withiil the fold of Judaism as have Christian 
rationalists for clin'ging to Christianity are, like their 
Christian friends, very energetic in discovering new 
grounds f6r the existence of a religion which, accord- 
ing to them, has no longer any reason to exist. Ac- 
cording to them, the dispersion of the Jews was 
merely a preliminary step to their entering upon their 
great mission. What great things are the Jews in 
exile to accomplish in their opinion? First of all, 
they are to represent "pure" theism, in contradis- 
tinction to Christianity. In the next place, tolerant 
Judaism is to teach intolerant Christianity the prin- 
ciples of humanitarianism. Furthermore, it is the 
function of exilic Judaism to take care that morality 
and life, which in the Christian world are severed 
from each other, should become one. And lastly, 


the Jews must also act as industrial and commercial 
promoters — ^be the leaven of such activities among 
' the civilized nations in whose midst they live. I have 
even heard it remarked quite seriously, that the Indo- 
Germanic race must improve its quality by mmgling 
with the Jewish race! 

But, mark you, from all these real or imaginary 
benefits which the Jews in dispersion confer upon the 
world, none will be diminished even after the restora- 
tion of the Jewish State. For just as at the time 
of the return from the Babylonian exile not all the 
Jews settled in Palestine, but the majority remained 
in the lands of exile, where there hid bLn Jewish 
settlements since the dispersion of Israel and Judah, 
so need we not look forward to a larger concentration 
of Jews at the future restoration. Besides, it seems 
to me that those benefits which the Jews in exile 
confer upon the world are exaggerated, ^'for the sake 
of the cause." I consider it an anachronism to as- 
sign to the Jews those missions which they certainly 
performed in antiquity, and to some extent also in 
mediieval times, but which, at present, no longer be- 
long peculiarly to th«n. As to affecting the unity 
of life and theory, it is only possible with a nation 
which is politically organized; such a nation alone 
is able to realize it practically by embodying it in 
its institutions. 

Again, what section of world-Jewry is to teach the 
Christians tolerance and humanity? You will surely 
say the enlightened Jews. But is not the enlightened 
Christian entitled to repeat to the enlightened Jew 


the words which Lessing, in his Nathan the Wise, puts 
into the mouth of the liberal Christian in his answer 
to the liberal Jew: ^^What makes me a Christian in 
jour eyes, makes you a Jew in mine." 

Or, on the other hand, should the enlightened Jew 
say to the orthodox Christian, ^^our beliefs are mere 
superstitions, your religion only fanaticism," may 
the enlightened Christian not turn to the orthodox 
Jew and make similar remarks in defense of his own 
religion? Our cultured Jews who accuse Christians 
of possessing a persecution mania, reason as falla^ 
ciously as does Bethmann Hollweg when he charges 
the Jews with the same trait. History can neither 
be explained nor changed in its course by such ex- 

From the viewpoint of enlightenment, I see as little 
reason. for the continuation of the existence of Ju- 
daism as for Christianity. It is better for the Jew 
who does not believe in the national regeneration of 
his people, to labor, like the enlightened Christian, 
for the dissolution of his religion. I understand how 
one can hold such an opinion. But what I do not 
understand is, how it is possible to believe simultane- 
ously in ^^enlightenment" and in a Jewish Mission in 
exile ; in other words, in the ultimate dissolution and 
in the continued existence of Judaism at the same 


A dilemma — The severed history of mankind — Our 
aUiei — The. wnity of the human gemu — Races omd 
folk types — The organism of Tnankind. 

You confronted me with the dilemma, that we must 
either agree with the Luxemburg Hirsch, that the 
goal and essence of Judaism is humanitarianism, in 
which case it is not national regeneration, but the 
realization of humanitarian ideals which is the aim 
worth striving for; — and Judaism, like every re- 
ligious or political socijety, must ultimately become 
absorbed and disappear in the larger fellowship of 
humanity; — or we must agree with the Frankfort 
Hirsch, who sees in Judaism the only salvation; in 
which case, we disagree with the modern humanita- 
rian aspirations and, like orthodox Christianity, we 
need make little appeal to public opinion of the cen- 
tury; for public opinion will receive such an appeal 
with the same feeling that it would receive a Chinese 
Proclamation or a Papal Bull. 

I believe, dear friend, that the opinions I have here- 
tofore expressed in my correspondence with you have 
little in common with either horn of the dilemma. 
They do not agree with the conceptions of either 
extreme faction, but belong to a different order of 



ideas. I believe that not only does the national es- 
sence of Judaism not exclude civilization and humani- 
tarianism, but that the latter really follow from it, 
as necessarily as the result follows from the cause. 
If, in spite of this, I emphasize the national side of 
Judaism, which is the root, rather than the humani- 
tarian aspect, which is the Uoom and flower, it is 
because in our time people are prone to decorate 
themsdves with the flowers of culture rather than 
cultivate them again in the soil on which they grew. 
It is out of Judaism that our humanitarian view of 
life sprang. There is not a phase in Christian moral- 
ity, nor in the scholastic philosophy of the Middle 
Ages,^ nor in modem philanthropy, and, if we add 

iMunk, in bis MSlanges d§ phUosophie juwe $t arabe, pp. 
891-301, has already shown the inflnaice of ATicebron on 
Scholastic philosophy. The Mekor Hoffim (Source of Life), 
by Solomon b. Judah Ibn Gabirol (Avicebron), was translated 
in the twelfth century by a Dominican Monk Gundisalvi, with 
the help of a converted Jew, John ATendeath, into Latin, and 
since that time it hai played an important r61e in the struggle 
between the Thomists and Scotists. Even Giordano Bruno 
consulted the Font Vit€B (Source of Life), the book of the 
Jewish philosopher Avicebron. More influential than the neo- 
platonist, ATicebron, was Maimonides, whose book the Mor^ 
NebueMm (Guide of tlie Perplexed), as dxiwn by Dr. Joel* 
Professor of the Breslau Seminary, was greatly utiliaed by 
Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. According to Jod, 
the influence of Maimonidian philosophy extended even to Ldb- 
nits who, as recently shown by Foucher de Careil, was a de> 
voted student and admirer of the Mors Nebuehim* ''Even In 
Kant's Religious Philosophy,** says Dr. Joel, **wt sometimes de- 
tect an echo of the philosophy of Maimonides." (Cf. Prankd's 
MonatMiohrift ftiw O$9ehieht0 und Wit»en$ohaft d99 Judm^ 
twM, Jahrgang, 1860, pp. 905-317. Also Graets: OeichiehU 
d0r Judm^, Vol. VI, pp. Sl-40 and p. 377. 


the latest manifestation of Judaism, Spinozism, not 
even in modem philosophy, which does not have its 
roots in Judaism. Until the French Revolution, the 
Jewish people was the only people in the world which 
had, simultaneously, a national as well as a humani- 
tarian religion. It is through Judaism that the his- 
tory of humanity became a sacred history. I mean 
by that, that process of unified organic development 
which has its origin in the love of the family and 
which will not be completed until the whole of human- 
ity becomes one fanuly, the members of which wiU 
be united by the holy spirit, the creative genius of 
history, as strongly as the organs of a body are 
united by the creative natural forces. As long as 
no other people possessed such a national, humani- 
tarian cult, the Jews alone were the people of God. 
Since the French Revolution, the French, as well as 
the other peoples which followed them, have become 
our noble rivals and faithful allies. 

With the final victory of these nations over Mediae- 
val reaction, the humanitarian aspirations, with which 
I am greatly in sympathy, so long as they do not 
express themselves merely in hypocritical, flowery 
words, will be realized and bear fruit. Anti-national 
Humanitarianism is just as unfruitful as the anti- 
humanitarian Nationalism of Mediaeval reaction. In 
theoretical anti-national humanitarianism I can only 
see, mildly speaking, an idealistic dream, but not a 
semblance of reality. We become so saturated with 
spiritualistic love and humanistic chloroform that we 
ultimatdy become entirely unconscious of the pain 


and misery that the antagonism which still exists 
between the various members of the great human 
family causes in real life. This antagonism will not 
be eradicated by enlightened sermons, but only by a 
process of historical development based on laws as 
unchangeable as the laws of Nature. Just as Nature 
does not produce flowers and fruits of a general 
character, nor general plants and animals, but pro- 
duces particular plant and animal types, so does the 
creative power in history produce only folk types. 
In mankind, the plan of the plant and animal king- 
doms finds its perfection; but humanity, as a sepa- 
rate life sphere, as the sphere of social life, is still in 
the process of development. We find in the history 
of social life a primal differentiation of folk-types 
which at first, plant-like, existed side by side with 
each other; then, animal-like, fought each other and 
destroyed or absorbed one another, but which wiQ 
finally, in order to become absolutely free, live not 
only in friendly fashion with one another, but live 
each for the other, preserving, at the same time, 
their particular type identity. 

The laws of universal history, I mean the history 
of the universe, namely, those of the cosmic, organic 
and social life, are as yet little known. We have 
particular sciences, but not a science of the universe ; 
we still do not know the unity of all life. One thing, 
however, is certain, that a fusion of cults, an ideal 
to which so many aspire, and which was realized, at 
least in part, for thousands of years by Catholic 
Rome, will as little establish a lasting peace in hu- 


man society as the philanthropic but unscientific be- 
lief in the absolute equality of men. In their attempt 
to base the granting of equal rights to all moi on 
the primitive uniformity of all races and types, the 
humanitarians confound the organization of social 
life on the basis of solidarity, which is the result of 
a long and painful process of historical development, 
with a ready-^made, inorganic equality and uniform- 
ity, which becomes rarer and rarer the farther back 
we go in history. The reconciliation of races follows 
its own natural laws, which we can neither arbitrarily 
create nor change. As to the fusion of cults, it is 
really a past stage in the development of social life. 
It was the watchword of that religion which owes its 
existence to the death of the nations of antiquity, 
i.e., Christianity. To-day the real problem is how 
to free the various oppressed races and folk-types 
and allow them to develop in their own way. The 
dangerous possibility that the various nationalities 
will separate themselves entirely from each other or 
ignore each other, is to be feared as little as the 
danger that they will fight among themselves and 
enslave one another. 

The present-day national movement not only does 
not exclude humanitarianism, but strongly asserts 
it; for this movement is a wholesome reaction, not 
against humanism, but against the things that would 
encroach upon it and cause its degeneration, against 
the leveling tendencies of modern industry and civil- 
ization which threaten to deaden every original or^ 
ganic life-force, by introducing a uniform inorganic 


mechanism. As long as these tendencies were directed 
against the antiquated institutions of a long-passed 
historical period, their existence was justified. Nor 
can this nationalistic reaction object to them, insofar 
as they endeavor to establish closer rdations be- 
tween the various nations of the world. But, un- 
fortunately, people have gone so far in life, as well 
as in science, as to deny the tjrpical and the creative; 
and as a result the vapor of idealism, on the one 
hand, and the dust of atomism on the other, rest like 
mildew on the red com, and stifle the germinating 
life in the bud. It is against these encroachments on 
the most sacred principles of creative life that the 
national tendencies of our time react, and it is against 
these destructive forces that I appeal to the original 
national power of Judaism. 

Like the general universal cosmic life which finds 
its termination in it, and the individual microcosmic 
life in which all the buds and fruits of the spirit 
finally ripen. Humanity is a living organism, of which 
races and peoples are the members. In every organ- 
ism changes are continuaUy going on. Some, quite 
prominent in the embryonic stage, disappear in the 
later development. There are organs, on the other 
hand, hardly noticeable in the earlier existence of the 
organism, which become important only when the 
organism reaches the end of its development. 

To the latter class of members of organic human- 
ity (which class is really the creative one) belongs the 
Jewish people. This people was hardly noticeable 
in the ancient world, where it was greatly oppressed 


by its powerful, conquering neighbors. Twice it came 
near being destroyed; namely, in the Egyptian and 
Babylonian captivities; and twice it rose to new 
spiritual life and fought long and successfully against 
the mightiest as well as the most civilized peoples 
of antiquity — the Greeks and the Romans. Finally, 
in the last struggle of the ancient world, it was this 
people which fertilized the genius of humanity with 
its own spirit, so as to rejuvenate itself, along with 
the regeneration of humanity. To-day, when the 
process of rejuvenation of the historical peoples is 
ended and each nation has its special function in 
the organism of humanity, we are for the first time 
beginning to conceive the special significance of the 
various organs of humanity. 

England, with its industrial organization, repre- 
sents the nerve-force of humanity which directs and 
regulates the alimentary system of mankind ; France, 
that of general motion, namely, the social; Germany 
discharges the function of thinking; and America 
represents the general regenerating power by means 
of which all dements of the historical peoples will be 
assimilated into one. When we observe that every 
modem people, every part of modern society, displays 
in its activity as an organ of humanity a special call- 
ing, then we must also determine the importance and 
function of the only ancient people which still exists 
to-day, as strong and vigorous as it was in the days 
of old, namely, Uie people of Israel. 

In the organism of humanity there are no two 
peoples which attract and repel each other more than 


the Germans and the Jews ; just as there are no two 
mental attitudes which are simultaneously akin to 
each other and still diametrically opposed, as the 
scientific-philosophical and the religious-moral. Re- 
ligion, in its higher form, is the spiritual tie which 
binds the creature to the Creator, the infinite thread, 
the end of which returns to its source, the bridge 
which leads from one creation to the other, from 
life to death, and from death back to life. It not 
only brings man to know the Absolute more intimate- 
ly, but it inspires and sanctifies his whole life with 
the divine spirit. In religion, as in love, especially in 
a religion like Judaism, which is neither one-sidedly 
materialistic nor one-sidedly spiritualistic, body and 
spirit merge into one another. The greatest and most 
dangerous enemy of the Jewish religion in antiquity 
was the religion of gross sensualism, the material love 
of the Semites, namely, Baal worship. In mediaeval 
ages, the enemy was represented by the embodiment 
of spiritualistic love — Christianity. The Jewish peo- 
ple which, thanks to its prophets of antiquity and 
rabbis of the Middle Ages, kept its religion from both 
extremes of degeneration, was, and is still to-day, that 
organ of humanity which expresses the living, crea- 
tive force in universal history, namely, the organ of 
unifying and sanctifying love. This organ is ^kin 
to the organ of thought, but is, at the same time, 
opposed to it. Both draw their force from the in- 
exhaustible well of life. But, while the religious 
genius individualizes the infinite, philosophic, scientific 
thought abstracts from life all its individual, sub- 


jectlve forms and generalizes it. Objective philoso- 
phy and science have no direct connection with life; 
religious teaching is intimately united with it, for 
either religion is identical with the national, social 
and moral life, or it is mere hjrpocrisy. 

I have wandered from my trend of thought. I 
merely wanted to explain to you why I do not ally 
myself with the humanitarian aspirations which en- 
deavor to obliterate all differentiation in the organ- 
ism of humanity and in the name of such catch words 
as "Liberty" and "Progress," build altars to arbi- 
trariness and ignorance, on which our light-minded 
youth offers its best energies and sacrifices. 


Another dilemma — Experimental sciences — PhUos- 
ophy amd Religion — Progress and periodic circvr 
lation — A genetic comparison of the organic^ 
cosmic life with the social — Moral necessity or 
holiness — Epochs of social evolution: the p(deon- 
tological times of the formation of the embryo^ 
birth period and birth travail^ age of maturity. 

Just as you confronted me on a former occasion 
with the dilemma: ^^Humanitarianism or National- 
ism," and reproached me for sympathizing with na- 
tional aspirations, in spite of the fact that they con- 
ti'adict the humanitarian tendencies of our time, so 
do you now propound another dilenmia : ^^Freedom or 
Necessity." You think it pure fatalism to consider 
humanity as a higher organism, and to observe in 
the history of nations the operation of the same 
eternal laws which govern the history of the earth 
and Nature. You think that in cosmic and organic 
life, moral laws do not obtain; here only natural 
forces operate, which are predetermined, and which 
can be calculated beforehand. But it is different with 
social life. Even this life is regulated by natural 
conditions, but it is the goal of man, who is a free 
being, to overcome the fatalism of Nature with his 
free-will actions, which are the basis of morality and 
progress in the higher sense. 



I am pleased to see that you are well versed in the 
higher philosophical conceptions of Grerman thought. 
I agree with you in your view of human life and be- 
lieve, also, that moral freedom is the destiny of man 
as well as of humanity. But to me this goal of hu- 
manity is identical with the recognition of Grod, which 
Judaism proclaimed at the very beginning of its his- 
tory, and to the spread and development of which 
it has always contributed, and which, since Spinoza, 
it has made accessible to all historical nations. This 
knowledge of God, which in its first manifestations as 
the spirit of historical humanity, had not been fully 
conceived, but only perceived through unanalyzed 
sense impressions and intuitive experience, and which 
heretofore had appeared only as wisdom and light, 
must henceforth, on the basis of the already acquired 
wisdom and light, progress and become an exact sci- 
ence, which draws its knowledge not only from in- 
ternal and external experience, but also examines 
it critically. 

In order to forestall your criticism of my Jewish 
view of the world through arguments based upon 
speculative philosophy, I have no other choice but 
to prove to you that philosophic speculation is not 
the last word in mental development, as little as is 
industrial speculation and dominance of Capital the 
goal of material development. Exact science, which 
recognizes only observation, experience, work and re- 
search, as the only legitimate means of acquiring 
mental and material wealth, and considers speculation 
to be only a combination of mental trickery and un- 


founded hypothesis must, in my case, become the su- 
preme authority to which I appeal. I will show you, 
that although exact science, which recognizes only 
eternal natural laws, seems to be in apparent contra- 
diction to philosophy, which raises spirit above na- 
ture, and to religion, which sanctifies both spirit and 
nature^ insofar as it subordinates them both to a 
single being, yet it finally changes into that perfect 
knowledge, which conceives the laws of nature and 
history as one and the same, and where all contradic- 
tion disappears. But I must first make you under- 
stand that even this apparent contradiction betweoi 
science and philosophy and religion had its justifica- 
tion, and was a necessary stage in the history of 
human development.^ 

Even to-day, science, philosophy and religion are 
not reconciled to one another. On the contrary, to- 
day, when we are on the eve of a new historical era, 
just as in the corresponding critical transition period 
from antiquity to the Middle Ages, the seemingly 
irreconcilable antagonism between religion, philoso- 
phy and experimental science, is more marked than 
it was in the heyday of the ancient or medieval world, 
which hardly knew such an antagonism. The basis 
of this theoretical contradiction, just as the practical 
antagonism in social life, lies in the imequal develop- 
ment of the various classes of humanity, in the rela- 

iCf. Die g&netiiehs WeltameJuwung. Also Remitat der 
PhUotophie wnd der Erfahrung$iDiii0n$ehaft&n, Ton M. Hesfl, 
In the periodical Dsr Oedanke, VoL III, p. 103. See also 
Epflogne 4. 


tions between the dominant and subservient races and 
classes, in the division of material and intellectual 
labor, and in the acquisitions resulting from this 
division. This inequality of development, advancing 
with the progress of civilization, was the rock upon 
which ancient society foundered. In the material and 
mental spheres, and especially in the latter, these 
contrasts, which ruined the ancient world, are more 
sharply defined to-day than they were at the close of 
the age of antiquity, when the division of labor was 
not as minutely developed as it is in our present 
transition period. The result is that to-day, as in 
the ancient world, not only is religion in conflict with 
philosophy, but philosophy is also antagonistic to 
exact science. And yet, as you will yourself admit, 
truth in experimental science cannot be different from 
truth in philosophy or in religion. But as long as 
the reconciliation between these various spheres of 
knowledge is not accomplished, it will be a difficult 
matter for me to prove to you, in a few lines, or 
even to make it plausible to you, that science, philoso- 
phy and religion do not mutually exclude each other; 
that at the worst, they only ignore each othetr; and 
that finally, they will support each other and with 
united forces help the progress of mankind. 

Let us, then, first make clear to ourselves the oft- 
misunderstood concepts of "Freedom" and "Prog- 
ress," which are so often carelessly used. 

The belief in a rational, and therefore cognizable, 
divine Law, as revealed to humanity in the teaching 
and life of Judaism, this belief in a divine Providence, 


in a plan of creation, is not a blind, fatalistic bdief 
in destiny, although it excludes arbitrary and law- 
less freedom. I do not assert, with the materialists, 
that the organic and spiritual world is subjected, 
like the inorganic world, to the same laws as an ex- 
ternal mechanism. On the contrary, I affirm that 
cosmic mechanical phenomena have the same plan, the 
same purposiveness, and spring out of the same sacred 
life as organic and spiritual phenomena. Nature and 
humanity are subordinated to the same divine law. 
The difference is, that Nature follows this law blindly, 
while man, when perfectly developed, obeys it con- 
sciously and voluntarily. Another important differ^ 
ence, the non-observance of which gives rise to a 
misunderstanding of the concepts of ^Treedom" and 
'Trogress," lies in this, that while the natural sphere 
of life of the organic and cosmic world, which is the 
basis of our social, human sphere of life, has already 
accomplished its own development, humanity is still 
in the midst of its life-creating process. As long 
as human society is still occupied in the production 
of its own organism, man, in his creative capacity, 
considers himself as an irresponsible and unfettered 
being, although he, like Nature, is subordinated, in 
his very creation, to the eternal divine laws. The 
false conception of human freedom as arbitrariness 
arises mainly from the fact that we do not as yet 
know either the laws regulating the development of 
social life or its goal; and we cannot know this law 
from experience so long as we are still in the midst 
of the stream of development. 


But though science is still silent concerning the 
law governing the development of social life, the re- 
ligious genius discovered it long ago. We Jews have 
always, from the beginning of our history, cherished 
the faith in a future Messianic epoch. This belief ier 
symbolically expressed, in our historical religion, by 
the Sabbath festival. The celebration of the Sabbath 
is the embodiment of the great idea which has always 
animated us, namely, that the future will bring about 
the realization of the historical Sabbath, just as the 
past gave us the natural Sabbath. In other words, 
that History, like Nature, will finally have her epoch 
of harmonious perfection. The Biblical story of the 
Creation is told only for the sake of the Sabbath 
ideal. It tells us, in symbolic language, that when 
the creation of the world of Nature was completed, 
with the calling into life of the highest organic being 
of the earth — ^Man — ^and the Creator celebrated his 
natural Sabbath, there at once began the work-days 
of History. Then, also, began the history of creation 
of the social world, which will celebrate its Sabbath 
after the completion of its world-historical labor, by 
introducing the Messianic epoch. Here, in this con- 
ception, you can see the high moral value of the 
Mosaic genesis history, in which supematuralists have 
discovered a system of science. As you see, my 
esteemed friend, the very biblical Sabbath-law in 
itself inspires us with a feeling of certainty that the 
uniform, eternal, divine law governs alike both the 
world of Nature and the world of History. It is 
only to those people who cannot conceive the mani- 


festation of the religious genius of the Jews, that the 
historical development of humanity appears as law- 
less, indeterminate, infinite '^Progress" when con- 
trasted with the life of Nature which, though it has 
not reached the end of its development, is yet gov- 
erned by strict laws which are calculable. You see, 
however, that this apparent difference between the 
laws of Nature and those of History, is only the 
result of a subjective conception which cannot rise to 
an understanding of the great universal, divine laws. 
We can as little think of the freedom of the created 
being of History as mere lawless arbitrariness, as we 
can speak of the historical progress as infinite. 

We call every being free, in the natural sense, 
which can develop its own destiny, its inner calling, 
according to its natural inclinations, without any ex- 
ternal restraint. That being is free, in the moral 
sense, which follows its calling with consciousness and 
will, whose will coincides with the divine law or will. 
Every other form of will is only arbitrariness, which 
does not partake of the divine essence of willing, but 
owes its existence to passions and natural instincts. 
This ability to follow the desires and passions which 
lead astray from the path of reason and morality, 
man possesses only when his inner essence is not suf- 
ficiently developed. Man can certainly not be proud 
of this negative ability, which is no more than a 
disease, a disease indicating a lack of development. 
This ability does not raise him above the animal, but 
on the contrary puts him below it ; for animal life, as 
well as plant life, is already developed and perfected. 


*^Man,'' says Goethe, ^^errs as long as he strives." 
But there is no striving without a purpose. The goal 
to which humanity, in the course of its historical 
develo{Hnent, strives is the recognition of the laws 
which govern all the three life-spheres, the social, or- 
ganic and cosmic. 

The law of the universe is the law of generation 
and development, or to use a better-known expres- 
sion, ^^the law of progress." The complete and per- 
fect operation of this law, in all the three life-spheres, 
is not yet known. In order to recognize fully the 
workings of this law, we still miss a part of its field 
of operation — the last phase of development of the 
social life. The law of history, therefore, cannot as 
yet become scientifically known. The ways of Provi- 
dence are still but dimly outlined for us. But, thanks 
to the religious genius of the Jews and its divine 
Revelation, which continually manifested itself in 
various forms: first in prophetic utterances, then in 
mysticism, and finally in philosophic speculation — ^the 
human spirit was constantly brought nearer to the 
recognition of this law. It is, however, still necessary 
that the law of history should be investigated and its 
operations defined by the experimental sciences. 

What modem science knows about the law of gen- 
eration and development operating in the three life- 
spheres, the cosmic, organic and social, I have already 
discussed elsewhere.^ But I have come to the con- 
clilsion, through my scientific and historical studies, 
that there is only one law governing all movement 

a See Note VII at end of book. 


and life phenomena of all the spheres of the universe, 

the organisms of the earth and the nations of history. 

There is as little infinite, indeterminate progress in 

the social human world, as there is in the plant and 

animal world, at the end of which stands the natural, 

undeveloped man. Here, as in the cosmic life-sphere, 

the field of operation of which is infinite space,' 

everything is generated, develops, accomplishes its 

aim in life, and then decays and dissolves in order to 

arise again to a new life entity in the eternal, infinite, 

unified and divine cycle of universal life. What we 

call ^^rogress" is no more than the development of a 

heing from the germ stage to the mature life stage. 

At this stage each heing reaches its destination. 

Just as beings vary, just as the difference be- 
tween the single atom and the entire world-sphere, 
between the lowest organic infusorium and the high- 
est earthly being — ^Man — is wide and great, so vari- 
ous and wide is the difference between their ages of 
life maturity and consequently between their goals 
and destinations. But nothing living remains un- 
changed in time and space, nothing is eternal, every- 
thing comes into existence, and ultimately disappears 
after it has carried out its mission in order to arise 
again to a new form of life.^ 

sCf. Eitai d'wM gen^e eomparSs de la vie eoemique, 
orgamique §t tociaU, in the Revue pkUoeapkique et religieute, 
for the years 1855-1856. 

4 Hess concedes the infinity of space as well as the infinity 
of life in the universe, hut views this latter infinity not as a 
constant and given only as a recurrent and cyclical. In this 
view he was preceded by Heraclitus and the Stoics, but the 


The great planetary bodies originated and devel- 
oped in a space and time of such magnitude that ire 
have no standard of comparison wherewith to measure 
it. Organic life, which began to develop on these 
bodies after they had already cooled off and their 
surface had become rigid, consumed the entire pahe- 
ontological age in its development and perfection. 
FinaUy, man, who began his spiritual, humane and 
social development at the ripe age of the organic 
life sjlhere, will reach his destination only after hu- 
manity will have completed its historical development 
which, though it has not reached its end as yet, is 
still not unlimited and infinite. 

Whatever arises in time requires, of course, a cer- 
tain time for its development, but it must reach its 
completion and perfection in a finite and determinate 
time. We recognize only one eternal, timeless and 
spaceless, absolute Being. We infer its existence 
through the one absolute law governing natural and 
historical life, the revelation of which only Judaism 
possessed. Out of the unified recognition of this 
law a unified life will necessarily follow; for knowl- 
edge and action, or theory and life, are inseparable. 
Dualism, struggle, and even victory of virtue exist 
only during the historical development of the recog- 
nition of God, but not after its perfection. During 
this development, we are only able to strive after 
morality; but after the recognition of God, or his 

novelty of the view consists in his introducing the creative 
factor, and in this he is the precursor of the Bergsonlan con- 
ception of Creative Evolution. Cf. Introduction. — Trantlator, 


law is perfected within us, we must live morally. 
This moral necessity is holiness. Judaism, which from 
the beginning of its history revealed the unity and 
sacredness of the divine law in Nature and history, 
has, therefore, from the beginning, put forth the de- 
mand that holiness should become an ideal of life, and 
its prophets have always heralded the coming of the 
epoch when men will arrive at the full knowledge of 

We must not represent either the sacred essence of 
God, or even our own God-like essence, in terms of 
time and space. The perfect recognition is, in reality, 
the overcoming of spatiality and temporality, namely, 
the historical development of the divine law in the 
cosmic, organic and social life spheres. We display 
our imperfect development and immature knowledge 
when we represent eternity as time continuance. Such 
representations prove only that our relation to holi- 
ness is not as yet perfect. The revelations of the 
holy spirit point to no other future but to the mature 
age of the social world. This age will begin, accord- 
ing to our historical religion, with the Messianic era. 
This is the era in which the Jewish nation and all 
the other historical nations will arise again to a new 
life, the time of the "resurrection of the dead," of 
"the coming of the Lord," of the "New Jerusalem," 

sCf. Leviticus xix, d; Jeremiah xzzi, 31, SS, 45. AU pro- 
phetic descriptions which Christianity has applied to Itself, 
really characterize the epoch of a perfected human life dom- 
inated by the Icnowledge of God or by a perfect attitude 
toward holiness. 


and of all the other symbolic expressions, the mean- 
ing of which is no longer misunderstood. 

The Messianic era is the present age, which Eegan 
to germinate with the teachings of Spinoza, and finally 
came into historical existence with the great French 
Revolution.^ With the French Revolution, there be- 
gan the regeneration of those nations which had ac- 
quired their national historical religion only through 
the influence of Judaism. 

The social life-sphere, like the cosmic and \he or- 
ganic, is divided in its devdopment into three epochs, 
which in their intrinsic structure are analogous in all 
the three life spheres. The first manifestation of his- 
tory, that of ancient Judaism and Paganism, is the 
palaeontological epoch of social life. It corresponds, 
on the one hand, to the embryological epoch in the 
history of development of organic life on this earth, 
which terminated in the tertiary period with the birth 
of the present existing organisms ; and, on the other 
hand, it is analogous, in the cosmic sphere, to the 
epoch of world formation, the age of comets and 

• This view of the world I have already expressed in my 
ftrst work, which appeared in the year 1836. (Cf. Ths Sacred 
Hiitorjf of Mankind, hy a young Spinorist, where I wrote the 
following: ''As the appointed period of the Mediaeval world 
terminated* there again rose the ancient voice of the Court of 
history t 'My spirit shall not strive with Man,' Gen. vi, S.). • • . 
There followed after Spinosa no destructive flood of water, 
as after Adam, or a flood of tribes and peoples as after Christ 
but out of the womb of time there burst forth a flood of 
ideas, which destroyed and wiped out every obstacle in its 
path. . . . With the French Revolution, the third and last 
stage of development of humanity began, the process of which 
is not yet completed.** 


nebulas, an age' which finally, culminated in the birth 
and rise of tiie astral bodies. 

The second manifestation of history, that of mediae- 
▼al Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is the epoch of 
the birth of modem Society. It corresponds, in the 
organic sphere, to the period of the birth of the 
present existing organisms, and in the cosmic world 
to the time of the birth of the planetary bodies. 

The third manifestation of history, namely, the 
present age of the social life-sphere, corresponds to 
the epoch of perfected organisms in the organic 
sphere and that of the developed planetary system 
in the cosmic. 

This age of maturity began, in the cosmic sphere, 
with the satellites or double stars and ended with 
the perfection of the solar systems; in the organic 
sphere, it began with the prehistoric period, and 
finally came to completion in the historic races of 
mankind. In the social sphere, it is not yet com- 
pleted; it is at present developing its last race and 
class struggle, in order to bring about a reconcilia- 
tion of all opposites and to establish an equilibrium 
between production and consumption, and finally to 
reach that perfected and harmonious course of life 
which characterizes every age of maturity. 

You will find, esteemed friend, the world-view, here 
outlined, to be the underlying basis of all my works. 
I have never held any other since I became a writer. 
It is the soul of my aspirations. Its realixation is 
my life work, and at the opportune moment I hope 
to develop it further. The narrow limits of a letter 


do not allow more detailed discussion of such a broad 
subject. Besides, I am at present too much inter- 
ested in the fate of my own people to devote myself 
to the solution of a probkm which, though intrinsi- 
cally connected with the future of Judaism, must 
first await the solution of the Jewish national problem. 


Regenerated Judaism and the sacrificial cult — Two 
thousamd year yearning of the nation for a new 
center in Zion — Patriotic songs and prayers — An 
old legend — Signs of the times — The time of re-- 
turn approaches — The Eastern Question and the 
Jews — A Frenchman's enthusiastic appeal. 

You ask me to come back to earth from the starry 
regions of philosophy to the soil of Palestine. You 
certainly love the antithesis. As an offset to the 
noble and exalted historical religion of my regener- 
ated Judaism, you oppose the "bloody sacrificial cult" 
of the ancient Israelites, and claim that orthodox 
Jews will never agree to a rebuilding of the Temple 
without, at the same time, reinstituting this ancient 
cult. You assume, therefore, that my love for my 
people will not go so far as to consent to an intro- 
duction of the sacrificial cult. 

I cannot grant you, however, either the supposed 
conditio sine qua non, on the part of orthodox Jews, 
or your hypothetical conception of the degree of my 
patriotism. In regard to my deep, reawakened, 
though belated love for my people, it seems to me 
that you forget that real, strong love, the love which 
dominates body and spirit alike, is always blind. Its 
blindness consists in this, that it is not the perfection 
and excellent qualities of the beloved which are the 



object of love's desire, but the bdoyed being as it is, 
with all its good and bad traits. Love desires not the 
object of affection because it hopes to improve its 
bad traits, but because it loves the undivided, indi- 
vidual entity. The scar on the face of my beloved 
does not detract from my love for her, but is itself 
dear to me; dearer, perhaps, than her beautiful eyes, 
for other women may have beautiful eyes, but the 
scar is characteristic only of my bdoved's individ- 
uality* Were, really, the sacrificial cult an insepa- 
rable part of Jewish nationality, I would unhesitat- 
ingly accept it. But as long as I have not learned 
anything better, I am convinced to the contrary. 
Our exalted historical religion, a religion which has 
progressed from one enlightened condition to an- 
other, which breathes only love for humanity and the 
knowledge of Grod,^ cannot have the sacrificial cult 
as an essential part of its being. But in spite of my 
personal conviction, let me not venture to anticipate 
history. There are certain questions which a priori, 
namely, in a practical way, se«n to be insolvable, but 

iBuuen remaflcs in his Biblical work, that tlie world pro- 
gressed from lig^t creation to lig^ generation. If the Rab- 
binic phrase: ''He prophesied but did not Imow what he 
prophesied" is ever 'applicable, it is applicable here. Bnnsen 
hardly thought of our two thousand years' yearning for a new 
creation of light for Zion, which is expressed in our daily 
prayer, the Shetna, tic To Him that maketh the great lumi- 
naries we pray, "Cause a new light to shine upon Zion and 
may we aU be worthy soon to enjqy its brightness." TUs 
8h&ma prayer is the Jewel of our prayer book. Like a costiy 
stone framed in purest gold, is the Shema surrounded by 
bymns and prayers such as Ahaba Babba, Vahabta, AhawUh 
'Ohun, all of which breathe love and rererence for knowledge. 


which, in the course of historical devdopment, solve 
themselves. To such questions belongs also the ques- 
tion of cult in general, and the development of a 
definite form of divine worship out of the moral, re- 
ligious spirit of that nation which, at every period 
of its development, was the creator of its own re- 
ligion in particular. 

Dr. Sachs, from whose classical work I have al- 
ready cited excerpts, when speaking of the rigidity 
of the religious norms in exile and contrasting with 
this rigidity their former historical development on 
the soil of Palestine, says : *'The ground of a living, 
historical reality is too wide to be encompassed by a 
ready-made system of norms and rules ; nay, even the 
fixed norms themselves cannot withstand the strong 
influaice of the free-moving expression of life and re- 
main unchanged. The rushing current of a living 
movement undermines the obstructing dikes and pene- 
trates by its windings and meanderings into the hard 
rocks of the shore." It is only after the extinction 
of the national life of the people, which molded the 
religious norms in live fashion, that these norms have 
assumed a form of rigidity. But this rigidity will 
disappear from the religious life, as soon as the ex- 
tinct national life comes into existence again, when 
the current of a national historical development 
forces itself anew into the hard and rigid religious 

The holy spirit, the creative genius of the people, 
out of which Jewish life and teaching arose, deserted 
Israel when its children began to fed ashamed of their 


nationality. But this spirit will again animate our 
people when it awakens to a new life, and creates new 
things of which we have at present not even a con- 
ception. No one can foretell what form and shape 
the newborn life and spirit of the regenerated nations 
will assume. As regards the religious cult, and espe- 
cially the Jewish cult, it will certainly be different 
from the present as well as from the ancient form. 

Regarded by itself, the sacrificial cult, as described 
in the Bible, does not contain anything repellent to 
the spirit of humanitarianism. On the contrary, as 
compared with the horrible custom of human sacri- 
fices practiced by all the nations of antiquity, the 
Jewish practice of animal sacrifices was a splendid 
victory for the spirit of humanitarianism.^ Be that 
as it may, whether animal sacrifices are regarded as 
a concession on the part of the Torah to Paganism, 
in order to prevent a relapse on the part of the 
people into idolatry, or whether it be maintained that 
it contains a hidden symbolism, the meaning of which 
is at present unknown, one thing is well established, 
that the Jews, in spite of their having brought 
^^loody sacrifices," possess greater abhorrence for 
bloodshed and the eating of blood than modem na- 
tions which consume the blood together, with the 
meat, without sacrifice or ceremony. But the sacri- 
ficial cult has not been practiced for the last eigh- 
teen hundred years, and therefore our new-fashioned 
Jews are ashamed of it. And yet it seems that even 
to the present day, sacrifice is the natural expression 

s See Note VIII at end of book. 


of the pious spirit of the child. Goethe tells us, that 
in his childhood, the only way he could satisfy his 
religious craving was by means of sacrifice to the 
Eternal, which he performed by lighting a bonfire 
and throwing therein his favorite toys. 

On the other hand, the prophets of old, and even 
the rabbis of the Middle Ages, never considered the 
sacrificial cult essential to the Jewish religion as do 
modem rigidly orthodox Jews, who look upon it as 
inseparable from our national restoration. Rabbi 
Jochanan ben Zakkai declared, basing his utterance 
on the prophetic saying in Hosea vi, 6, that sacrifices 
can be substituted by benevolence,^ and a number of 
modem rabbinical authorities, who do not recognize 
the right of the modem descendants of Aaron to the 
priesthood, have yet declared themselves zealously for 
the restoration of a Jewish State.^ The cult that we 
are going to introduce in the New Jerusalem can and 
must, for the present, remain an open question. Rome 
was not built in a day, and the New Jerusalem must 
needs take time for its construction. 

What we have to do at present for the regeneration 
of the Jewish nation is, first, to keep alive the hope 
of the political rebirth of our people, and next, to 
reawaken that hope where it slumbers. When polit- 
ical conditions in the Orient shape themselves so as 
to permit the organization of a beginning of the 
restoration of a Jewish State, this beginning will ex- 

s For the saying of Ben Zakkai, see Baba Bathra, 10b. — 
4 See Note % at end pf bopk» 


press itself in the founding of Jewisli colonies }n the 
land of their ancestors, to which enterprise France 
will undoubtedly l»id a hand. You know how sub- 
stantial was the share of the Jews in the subscriptions 
to the fund raised for the benefit of the Syrian wax 
victims. It was Cremieux who took the initiative in 
the matter, the same Cremieux who twenty years ago 
traveled with Sir Moses Montdfiore to Syria in order 
to seek protection for the Jews against the persecu- 
tions of the Christians. In the JofimcA des Debaii, 
which very seldom accepts poems for publication, 
there appeared, at the time of the Syrian expedition, 
a poem by Leon Halevi, who at the time, perhaps, 
thought as little of the rebirth of Israel as Cremieux, 
yet his beautiful stanzas could not have been pro- 
duced otherwise than in a spirit of foreseeing this 
regeneration. When the poet of the SckwaJben 
mournfully complains: 

Where tarries the hero? Where tarries the wise? 
Who will, O my people, revive you anew; 
Who will save you, and give you again 
A place in the sun? 

The French poet answers his query with enthusi- 
astic confidence: 

Ye shall be reborn, ye fearsome cities! 

A breath of security will always hover 

O'er your banks where our colors have flattered! 

Come again a call supreme! 

Au revoir is not adieu — 

France is all to those she loves. 

The future belongs to God. 


Alexander Weill sang about the same time: 

There is a people stiff of neck^ 

Dispersed from the Euphrates to the Rhine^ 

Its whole life centered in a Book — 

Ofttimes bent^ yet ever straightened; 

Braving hatred and contempt^ 

It only dies to live again 

In nobler form. 

France, beloved friend, is the savior who will re- 
store our people to its place in universal history. 

Allow me to recall to your mind an old legend which 
you have probably heard in your younger days. It 
runs as follows: 

^^A knight who went to the Holy Land to assist 
in the liberation of Jerusalem, left behind him a very 
dear friend. While the knight fought valiantly on 
the field of battle, his friend spent his time, as here- 
tofore, in the study of the Talmud, for his friend was 
none other than a pious rabbi. 

"Months afterward, when the knight returned 
home, he appeared suddenly at midnight, in the study 
room of the rabbi, whom he found, as usucJ, absorbed 
in his Talmud. ^God's greetings to you, dear old 
friehd,' he said. *I have returned from the Holy 
Land and bring you from there a pledge of our friend- 
ship. What I gained by my sword, you are striving 
to obtain with your spirit. Our ways lead to the 
sarnie goal.' While thus speaking, the knight handed 
the rabbi a rose of Jericho. 

"The rabbi took the rose and moistened it with his 


t^ars, and immediately the withered rose began to 
bloom again in its full glory and splendor. And the 
rabbi said to the knight : ^Do not wonder, my friend, 
that the withered rose bloomed again in my hands. 
The rose possesses the same characteristics as our 
people: it comes to life again at the touch of the 
warm breath of love, in spite of its having been torn 
from its own soil and left to wither in foreign lands. 
So will Israel bloom again in youthful splendor; and 
the spark, at present smoldering under the ashes, will 
burst once more into a bright flame.' " 

The routes of the rabbi and the knight, dear friend, 
are meeting to-day. As the rabbi in the story sym- 
bolizes our people, so does the knight of the legend 
signify the French people which in our days, as in 
the Middle Ages, sent its brave soldiers to Syria and 
"prepared in the desert the way of the Lord." 

Have you never read the words of the Prophet 
Isaiah: "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith 
your God. Speak ye comfortably to the heart of 
Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that the appointed time 
has come, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath 
received at the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 
The voice of one that crieth in the wilderness, pre- 
pare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the 
desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall 
be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made 
low, and the crooked shall be made a straight place, 
and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the 
Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it 


together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken 

Do you not believe that in these words, with which 
the second Isaiah opened his prophecies, as well as in 
the words with which the Prophet Obadiah closed 
his prophecy,® the conditions of our own time are 
graphically pictured? Was not help given to Zion 
in order to defend and establish the wild mountaineers 
there? Are not things being ]{>repared there and 
roads leveled, and is not the road of civilization being 
built in the desert in the form of the Suez Canal 
works and the railroad which will connect Asia and 
Europe? They are not thinking at present of the 
restoration of our people. But you know the prov- 
erb, ^^Man proposes and God disposes." Just as in 
the West they once searched for a road to India, and 
incidentally discovered a new world, so will our lost 
fatherland be rediscovered on the road to India and 
China that is now being built in the Orient. Do you 
still doubt that France will help the Jews to found 
colonies which may extend from Suez to Jerusalem, 
and from the banks of the Joirdan to the Coast of 
the Mediterranean? Then pray read the work which 
appeared shortly after the massacres in Syria, by 
the famous publisher, Dentu, under the title The New 
Oriental Problem. The author hardly wrote it at the 
request of the French government, but acted in ac- 
cordance with the spirit of the French nation when 

s Isaiah xl, 1-5. 

0*'And saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the 
mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.** 


he urged our brethren, not on religious grounds, but 
from purely political and humanitarian motives, to 
restore their ancient Stated 

I may, therefore, reconmiend this work, written, 
not by a Jew, but \fj a French patriot, to the atten- 
tion of our modem Jews, who plume themsdires on 
borrowed French humanitarianism. I will quote here, 
in translation, a few pages of this work. The New 
Eastern Questiof^ by Ernest Laharanne.^ 

^^In the discussion of these new Eastern complica- 
tions, we reserved a special place for Palestine, in 
order to bring to the attention of the world the im- 
portant question, whether ancient Judasa can once 
more acquire its former place under the sun. 

^^This question is not raised here for the first time. 
The redemption of Palestine, either by the efforts 
of international Jewish bankers, or the nobler method, 
of a general subscription in which all the Jews should 
participate, has been discussed many times. Why 
is it that this patriotic project has not as yet been 
realized? It is certainly not the fault of pious Jews 
that the plan was frustrated, for their hearts beat 
fast and their eyes fill with tears at the thought of 
a return to Jerusalem.^ 

7 1 have heard that an American writer has discussed this 
question from a practical point of view, for a number of 
jears. Also representative Englishmen have repeatedly de- 
clared themselves in favor of the restoration of the Jewish 

8 See Note IX at end of book. 

• Mj friend, Armond L., who traveled for several jears 
through the Danube Principalities, told me that the Jews were 


**If the project is still unrealized, the cause is 
easily cognizable. The Jews dare not think of the 
possibility of possessing again the land of their 
fathers. Have we not opposed to their wish our 
Christian veto? Would we not continually molest 
the legal proprietor when he will have taken posses- 
sion of his ancestral land, and in the name of piety 
make him feel that his ancestors forfeited the title 
to their land on the day of the Crucifixion? 

^Our stupid Ultramontanism has destroyed the 
possibility of a regeneration of Judiea, by making the 
present of the Jewish people barren and unproduc- 
tive. Had the city of Jerusalem been rebuilt by 
means of Jewish capital, we would have heard 
preachers prophesying, even in our progressive nine- 
teenth century, that the end of the world is at hand 
and predictions of the coming of the Anti-Christ. 
Yes, we have lived to see such a state of affairs, now 

moved to tears when he announced to them the end of their 
sufferings with the words ^The time of the return approaches." 
The more fortunate Occidental Jews do not know with what 
longing the Jewish masses of the East await the final re- 
demption from the two thousand year exile. Tliey know not 
that the patriotic Jew cannot suppress liis cry of angidsh at 
the length of the exile, even in the midst of Us festive songi^ 
a8» for instance, tlie patriotic poem wliich is read on Chanukah, 
closes with the mournful call: 

"For salvation is delayed for us and there is no end to the 
days of evil." 

'*They asked me," continued my friend, "what are the indica^ 
tions that the end of the exile is approaching?" "These," I 
answered, "that the Turkish and the papal powers are on the 
point of collapse." 


that Ultramontanism has made its last stand in ora- 
torical eloquence. In the sacred beehive of religion, 
we still bear a continuous buzzing of those insects 
who would rather see a mighty sword in the hands 
of the barbarians, than greet the resurrection of na- 
tions and hail the revival of a free and great thought 
inscribed on their banner. This is undoubtedly the 
reason why Israel did not make any attempt to be- 
come master of his own flocks, why the Jews, after 
wandering for two thousand years, are not in a posi- 
tion to shake the dust from their weary feet. The 
continuous, inexorable demands that would be made 
upon a Jewish settlement, the vexatious insults that 
would be heaped upon them and which would finally 
degenerate into persecutions, in which fanatic Chris- 
tians and pious Mohammedans would imite in broth- 
erly accord — ^these are the reasons, more potent than 
the rule of the Turks, that have deterred the Jews 
from attempting to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, 
their ancient home, and their State. 

^^But if this cause explains the lack of courage on 
the part of patriotic Jews, we cannot refrain from 
accusing the so-called progressive Jews of indi£Ference 
to the fate of the Jewish people; for whenever a pro- 
ject for the restoration of the Jewish State is being 
considered, they display toward it a naivete that 
neither does credit to their reasoning power nor to 
their heart. The explanations offered by them on 
such occasions are inadmissible both from a moral 
and from a political point of view. A declaration, 
composed by the representatives of the progressive 


Jews at their meeting in Frankfort, contains the fol- 
lowing Article: 

^*We acknowledge as our fatherland only the land 
where we are bom and to which we are inseparably 
united by the bonds of citizenship." ^^ 

^^No member of the Jewish race can renounce the 
incontestible and fundamental right of his people, 
without at the same time denying the history of the 
Jews and his own ancestors. Such an act is espe- 
cially unseemly, at a time when political conditions 
in Europe will not only not obstruct the restoration 
of a Jewish State, but will rather facilitate its reali- 
zation. What European power to-day would oppose 
the plan that the Jews, united through a Congress, 
should buy back their ancient fatherland? Who 
would object if the Jews flung to decrepit old Turkey 
a few handfuls of gold, and said to her: ^Give me 
back my home and use this money to consolidate the 
other parts of your tottering empire?' 

^^No objections would be raised to the realization 
of such a plan, and Judaea would be permitted to 
extend its boundaries from Suez to the harbor of 
Smyrna, including the entire area of the western 

10 1 do not know to which declaration the author refers. It 
is perhaps to the one of the Rabbinical conference which took 
place in the year 1845 at Frankfort and which accomplished 
as much as a similar German meeting held in the same place 
a few years later. However, the declaration referred to is in 
perfect accord with the sentiments of the German progressive 
Jews. There was not a voice raised among them in behalf of 
the restoration of the Jewish nationality; and if such a voice 
is heard from other quarters, it is received by them not only 
inth indifference, but with scorn. 


Lebanon range. For we will not be eternally engaged 
in war; the time must come when this wholesale 
massacre, usually accompanied by the booming of 
cannon, will be condemned by humanity, so that the 
nation which desire|» conquest in addition to comi- 
merce, will not dare to carry out its designs. We 
must therefore prepare and break new ground for the 
peaceful struggles of industry. European industry 
has daily to search for new markets as an outlet for 
its products. We have no time to lose. The time 
has arrired when it is imperative to call the ancient 
nations back to life, so as to open new highways and 
byways for European civilization." 

In another passage, the author speaks with so much 
enthusiasm, love and reverence for the Jews, that 
what he says overshadows all that has ever been said 
by a Jew in praise of his own people. 

"There is a mysterious power which rules the 
destiny of humanity. Once the hand of the Infinite 
Power has signed the decree of a nation to be ban- 
ished forever from the face of the earth, the fate 
of that nation is irrevocable. But when we see a 
nation, torn from its cradle in its early childhood, 
and after having tasted all the bitterness of exile is 
brought back to its land, only to be tossed again 
into the wide world; and that nation, during the 
eighteen centuries of its wandering has displayed such 
remarkable powers of endurance, suffering age-long 
martyrdom without extinguishing in its heart the fire 
of patriotism, then we must admit that we are stand- 


ing before an infinite mystery, unparalleled in the 
history of humanity.'' 

In these few words there is concentrated the whole 
history of Israel. 

What an example! What a race. You Roman 
conquerors led your legions in battle against the 
already ruined Zion and drove the children of Israel 
out of their ancestral land. Your European, Asiatic 
and African barbarians lent your ear to superstition 
and pronounced your curse upon them. You feudal 
kings branded the Jews with the mark of shame — ^the 
Jews, who, in spite of all your persecutions, supplied 
you with the necessary gold wherewith to arm your 
vassals and serfs and who provided your markets 
with goods. You grand Inquisitors, searched among 
thi children of the dispersed people of Israel for your 
richest victims, with whom to fill your prisons and 
coffers, and in order to feed your auto-da-fe's — and 
you revoked the edict of Nantes ^^ and drove out of 
the land the remnant that had escaped the destruction ' 
of Apostolic fanaticism. And finally, you modem 
nations have denied these indefatigable workers and 
industrious merchants civil rights. What persecu- 
tions! What tears! What blood you children of 
Israel have shed in the last eighteen hundred years ! 
But you sons of Judaea, in spite of all suffering are 
still here! You have overcome the innumerable ob- 

11 The edict of Nantes gnavanteed the Protestants of France 
liberty of consdenoe, freedom of worship and representation 
in Parliament; it was issued by Htary IV in I69S9 but re- 
foked bf Louis XIV in lO^.^Tran»la$wr. 


stacles which the hatred, contempt, fanaticism and 
barbarism of the centuries have placed in your way. 
The hand of the Eternal has surely guided you. 

France finally freed you. On the eve of the great 
world epoch, France, while shattering its own chains, 
called all nations and also you, into freedom. You 
became citizens and now you are brothers. The year 
1789 was the first step in the process of rehabilita- 
tion. Pursuing its mission, liberation,^^ the eye of 
France searched after all persecuted races, and it 
found you in your ghetto and shattered its doors 
forever.^® France invited you to its Chambers. You 
participated in its triumphs; you shared its happi- 
ness and its reverses. You have raised your voice 
on the day of council, shouted for joy at our vic- 

12 Under the short Napoleonic reign oyer Central and 
Southern Europe, despotism and autocracy were crushed every- 
where; either republics or constitutional monarchies were sub- 
stituted, and the Jews were granted equal rights, which were 
later revoked when the old dynasties were restored to the 
throne.— rrofwki^or. 

18 The old Beneday, who was still alive in 1849, at the time 
of the publication of the first Bh§niiche Zeitung used to come, 
from time to time, to the office of that paper to converse with 
the members of the staff; and on one of these occasions he 
told us the story, which I had really heard before, how he, at 
the commission of the first French Republic had laid the ax 
at the gates of the Bonn Ghetto. Beneday could hardly con- 
ceive how his son Jacob could, at one and the same time, be a 
liberal and yet unfriendly toward the French. I comforted 
him by pointing to the progressive German Jews, who in 
reality have to thank the French for whatever political and 
civil rights they possess here or elsewhere in Germany, and yet 
rail, in company with the Germans, against the '^reditaiy 


tones and wept at our defeats. You are good citizens 
and devoted brothers. France will perhaps be to you 
a lighthouse of salyation, a rock against your ene- 
mies, who are also the enemies of our modem insti- 
tutions. It will defend you against the libders of 
your nationality, your character and your religion. 

You are an elemental force and we bow our heads 
before you. You were powerful in the early period 
of your history, strong even after the destruction 
of Jerusalem, and mighty during the Middle Ages, 
when there were only two dominant powers — the 
Inquisition and its Cross, and Piracy with its Cres- 
cent. You have escaped destruction in your long 
dispersion, in spite of the terrible tax you have paid 
during eighteen centuries of persecution. But what 
is left of your nation is mighty enough to rebuild the 
gates of Jerusalem. This is your mission. 

Providence would not have prolonged your exist- 
ence until to-day, had it not reserved for you the 
holiest of all missions. The hour has struck for the 
rei^ttlement of the banks of the Jordan. The his- 
torical books of the royal prophets can, perhaps, be 
written again only by you. 

A great calling is reserved for you : to be a living 
channel of communication between three continents. 
You should be the bearers of civilization to the primi- 
tive people of Asia, and the teachers of the European 
sciences to which your race has contributed so much. 
You should be the mediators between Europe and 
far Asia, open the roads that lead to India and China 
— ^those unknown regions which must ultimately be 


thrown open to civilization. You will come to the 
land of your fathers crowned with the crown of age- 
long martyrdom, and there, finally, you will be com- 
pletely healed from all your ills ! Your capital will 
again bring the wide stretches of barren land under 
cultiyation ; your labor and industry will once more 
turn the ancient soil into fruitful valleys, reclaim the 
flat lands from the encroaching sands of the desert, 
and the world will again pay its homage to the oldest 
of peoples. 

The time has arrived for you to reclaim, either by 
way of compensation or by other means, your ancient 
fatherland from Turkey, which has devastated 
it for ages. You have contributed aiough to the 
cause of civilization and have helped Europe on the 
path of progress, to make revolutions and carry them 
out successfully. You must henceforth think of 
yourselves, of the valleys of Lebanon and the plains 
of Grennesareth. 

March forward! At the sight of your rejuvena^- 
tion, our hearts will beat fast, and our armies will 
stand by you, ready to help. 

March forward, Jews of aU lands! The ancient 
fatherland of yours is calling you, and we will be 
proud to open its gates for you. 

March forward, ye sons of the martyrs ! The har- 
vest of experience which you have accumulated in 
your long exile, will help to bring again to Israel 
the splendor of the Davidic days and rewrite that 
part of history of which the monoliths of Semiramis 
are the only witness. 


March forward, ye noble hearts! The day on 
which the Jewish tribes return to their fatherland 
will be epoch-making in the history of humanity. Oh, 
how wiU the East tremble at your coming! How 
quickly, under the influence of labor and industry, 
win the enervation of the people ranish, in the land 
where voluptuousness, idleness and robbery have held 
sway for thousands of years. 

You will become the moral stay of the East. Tou 
have written the Book of books. Become, then, the 
educators of the wild Arabian hordes and the African 
peoples. Let the ancient wisdom of the East, the 
revelations of the Zend, the Vedas, as well as the 
more modem Koran and the Grospels, group them- 
selves around your Bible. They will aU become puri- 
fied from every superstition and all will proclaim 
alike the principles of freedom, humanity, peace and 
unity. You are the triumphal arch of the future 
historical epoch, under which the great covenant of 
humanity will be written and sealed in your presence 
as the witnesses of the past and future. The Biblical 
traditions which you will revive, will also sanctify 
anew our Occidental society and destroy the weed 
of materialism together with its roots. 

And when you shall have made this wonderful 
progress, rem^nber, ye sons of Israel, remember 
Modem France which, from the moment of its re- 
birth, has loved you continually and has never wearied 
of defending you. 


The beginning of the end — Solidarity of the Jett^ — 
Philanthropic iUtmong — The social animal king-- 
dom — The nurses of progress — 2^ faithffd watch- 
men of the sacred sepulchre of Jewish nationality 
— The last catastrophe. 

It seems that extracts from the French pamphlet 
which I quoted to you, have awakened in you new 
thoughts. You think that the Christian nations will 
certainly not object to the restoration of the Jewish 
State, for they will thereby rid their respective coun- 
tries of a foreign population which is a thorn in their 
side. Not only Frenchmen, but Grermans and Eng- 
lishmen, have expressed th^nsdves more than once in 
favor of the return of the Jews to Palestine. You 
quote an Englishman who endeavored to prove, by 
Biblical evidence, the ultimate return of the Jews to 
Palestine and simultaneously also the conversion of 
the Jews to Christianity. Another Englishman at- 
tempts to prove that the present English dynasty is 
directly descended from the house of David and that 
the stone which plays such an important role in the 
coronation of English kings is the same on which 
Jacob's head rested when he dreamt of the famous 
ladder. A third magnanimously offers all the Eng- 



lish ships for the purpose of conveying to Palestine, 
free of charge, all the Jews who want to return there. 
These sentiments, however, seem to be, according to 
you, only a milder form of the desire, which in for- 
mer ages expressed itself in frequent banishments of 
the Jews from Christian lands, for which mildness 
our people ought to be thankful. On the other hand, 
you see in such projects only a piece of folly which, 
in its final analysis, leads either to religious or secu- 
lar insanity, and should not be taken into considera- 
tion. Such desires, moreover, if they come from 
pious Christians, would be opposed by all Jews. On 
the other hand, if pious Jews were the projectors, 
all Christians would object to the restoration ; for as 
the latter would only consent to a return to Pales- 
tine on condition that the ancient sacrificial cult be 
reintroduced in the New Jerusalem, so would the 
former give its assistance to the plan, only on con- 
dition that we Jews would bring our national religion 
as a sacrifice to Christianity at the ^^Holy Sepul- 
chre." And thus, you conclude, all the national as- 
pirations of the Jews must inevitably founder on the 
rock of differences of opinion. 

Now if rigid Christian dogma and inflexible Jewish 
orthodoxy could never be revived by the living cur- 
rent of history, they would certainly place an insur- 
mountable obstacle to the realization of our patri- 
otic aspirations. The thought of repossessing our 
ancient fatherland can, therefore, be taken under 
serious consideration, only when this rigidity of 
orthodox Jews and Christians alike, will have re- 


laxed. And it is beginning to relax already, not only 
with the progressive elements, but even with pious 
Jews and Christians. Moreover, the Talmud, which 
ii3 the comer-stone of modem Jewish orthodoxy, long 
ago counseled obedience to the dictates of life. 

If Jewish Nationalism is a live movonent, it will 
not be deterred by any doubts that may arise from 
devoting its energy toward obtaining political regen- 
eration. Though the time ^Vhen the wolf shall dwell 
with the lamb" has not yet arrived, the ruling major- 
ity and the oppressed minority have both alike lost 
their wolfish appetite and sheepish patience. Re- 
ligious toleration has become a more general article 
of creed than any other dogma. Besides, I always 
think, as I have already remarked, of the future cult 
of all regenerated nations as being different in form 
from the present religious cults, which have coiAe 
down to us from a time when folk individualities were 
repressed. And finally, I must emphasize it again, 
our future religious worship, like those of other na- 
tions, will not precede the regeneration but follow it. 
The main problem of the Jewish national movement 
is not of a religious nature but centers around one 
point, namely, on how to awaken the patriotic senti- 
ments in the hearts of our progressive Jews, and how 
to liberate the Jewish masses, by means of this patri- 
otism, from a spirit-deadening formalism. If we 
succeed in this beginning, then no matter how difficult 
the practical realization of our plan may be, the 
difficulties will be overcome by experience itself. It 
is only, when we find that the Jewish heart is dead^ 


that the Jews are no more capable of patriotic inspi- 
ration, that we shall have to despair of our hope 
which, as every great historical ideal, cannot be real- 
ized without a tremendous struggle. 

The Jews have enough common sense, in spite of 
misunderstood ^ightenment and orthodoxy, not to 
be misled by religious haziness and fanaticism which 
have no basis in the present life. But it is just this 
sober sense of reality that our race possesses in a 
high degree, which will finally win over those of our 
brethren, whether progressive or orthodox, who still 
possess a Jewish heart, to the national cause which 
has its roots deep in the practical soil of reality. 
^ The objections of progressive Jews to the restora- 
tion of the Jewish State have their ultimate ground, 
not in that spiritual education which does not shrink 
from the difficulties lying in the path of a great work, 
nor calculates beforehand the amount of sacrifice / 
required in the realization of the same, but they rest 
in the moral and intellectual narrow-mindedness which 
is unable to rise to a high humanitarian standpoint, 
from which one can view the depth of the misfortune 
of the people as well as the means of their salvation. 
The Jewish religion, thought Heine, and with him all 
the enlightened Jews, is more of a misfortune than a 
religion. But in vain do the progressive Jews per- 
suade themselves that they can escape this misfortune 
through enlightenment or conversion. Every Jew is, 
whether he wishes it or not, solidly united with the 
entire nation ; and only when the Jewish people will 
be freed from the burden which it has borne so hero- 


ically for thousands of years, will the burden of Juda- 
ism be removed from the shoulders of these progres- 
sive Jews, who will ultimately form only a small 
minority. We will all then carry the yoke of the 
^^Kingdom of Heaven" until the end. 

At the height of the movement of enlightenment, 
when everybody was intoxicated by it, people could 
be easily fascinated by the illusion that it is best for 
the entire Jewish people to surrender its national 
religion and devote itself to humanitarianism, a cult 
which, according to them, was destined to absorb 
Judaism as well as all individual life. To-day, even 
the most superficial rationalist cannot cherish such 
a philanthropic illusion. Though lacking a deeper 
conception of life, of Nature and history, the his- 
torical movement among our contemporary Jews has 
accomplished its purpose of opening the eyes of the 
rationalists ; for even in the Occident, where the Jews 
are closely united to the general culture by a thou- 
sand bonds, the injury done to the ancient Jewish 
cult by enlightenment is slight. 

Even to-day, the great majority of Occidental 
Jews pay homage to their ancient religion. Neither 
emancipation nor Christian proselytism, with its bait 
of material advantages, has succeeded in estranging 
the majority of Jews from their traditions. On the 
contrary, there have appeared of late, even among 
those who were formerly estranged from Judaism, 
. men who display strong sympathies for the ancient 
Jewish mode of life. The leveling tendencies of the 
assimilationists have remained and will always re- 


main without influence on those Jews who constitute 
the great Jewish masses. 

The masses are never moved to progress by mere 
abstract conceptions; the springs of action lie far 
deeper than even the socialist revolutionaries think. 
With the Jews, more than with other nations which, 
though oppressed, yet live on their own soil, all polit- 
ical and social progress must necessarily be preceded 
by national independence. A common, native soil 
is a primary condition, if there is to be introduced 
among the Jews better and more progressive rela- 
tions between Capital and Labor. The social man, 
just as the social plant and animal, needs for his 
growth and development a wide, free soil ; without it, 
he sinks to the status of a parasite, which feeds at 
the expense of others. The parasitic way of exist- 
ence has played an important role in the development 
of human history and is by no means restricted to the 
Jews. As long as science and industry were not suffi- 
ciently developed, the land in the possession of any 
nation was never large enough to maintain the entire 
population; and the nations were therefore forced, 
either to make war one upon the other and thus 
acquire slaves, or to divide their own population into 
ruling and serving classes. But this regime, which 
was based upon the exploitation of men, collapsed as 
soon as modem science and industry began to domi- 
nate the world. 

The civilized nations are at present making prep- 
arations for a common exploitation of Nature. This 
will be carried on by means of labor based on scien- 


tific principles, all social parasites being excluded. 
They are preparing themselves for the new era 
through struggles for free national soils, by attempts 
at abolishing race and class rule, by endeavoring to 
organize an Association and by the cooperation of 
all the forces of production. In this Association, 
the antagonism between capitalistic speculation and 
productive labor, as well as the contrast between 
philosophic speculation and scientific work, will 
simultaneously disappear. I know well that the need 
of wholesome and just labor conditions, which should 
be based solely on the exploitation of Nature by 
man, is also strongly felt in Jewry. I know of the 
great efforts which are being exerted on the part of 
the Jews to train our younger generation as useful 
laborers. . But I know also that the Jews in exile, at 
least the majority of them, cannot devote themselves 
successfully to productive labor; in the first place, 
because they lack the most necessary condition — an 
ancestral soil; and, secondly, because they cannot 
assimilate with the peoples among whom they live 
without at the same time denying their national re- 
ligion and tradition. Those commendable efforts to 
improve the condition of Jewish labor will, therefore, 
while they indirectly cause the destruction of the 
Jewish cult, be as fruitless, on the whole, as the 
endeavors of the Reform movement, which leads 
directly to the same results. In exile, the Jewish 
people cannot be regenerated. Reform or philan- 
thropy can only bring it to apostasy and to nothing 
else, but in this no reformer, not even a tyrant, will 


ever succeed. The Jewish people will participate in 
the great historical movement of present-day human* 
ity only when it will have its own fatherland. As 
long as the great Jewish masses remain in their low 
position, even the relatively few Jews who have sur- 
rendered their national traditions, in order to escape 
the fate of the Jewish people, will be more painfully 
affected by the position of the Jews than the masses, 
who feel themselves only unfortunate but not de* 
graded. Hence, no Jew, whether orthodox or not, 
can conscientiously refrain from cooperating with 
the rest for the elevation of the entire Jewry. Every 
Jew, even the converted, should cling to the cause and 
labor for the regeneration of Israel. 

If one appreciates fully the infinitely tragic role 
which* the Jewish people has thus far played in his- 
tory, he must also inevitably perceive the only way 
that will bring salvation to our misery. This solu- 
tion is at present not as impractical as it may look 
at first sight. It is in accordance with the sympa- 
thies of the French people and with the interests of 
French politics, that after France's victorious armies 
shall have overthrown the modem Nebuchadnezzar, 
France will extend its work of redemption also to the 
Jewish nation. It is to the interest of France to see 
that the road leading to India and China should be 
settled by a people which will be loyal to the cause 
of France to the end, in order that it may fulfil the 
historical mission which has fallen to it as a legacy 
from the great Revolution. But is there any other 
nation more adapted to carry out this mission than 


Israel, which was appointed for the same mission 
from the beginning of its history? 

^^Frenchmen and Jews!" I hear you exclaim. *^If 
so, then the Christian German reactionaries were 
right in their denunciations of the Jews !" Yes, my 
dear friend, the animal instinct which scents the 
enemy in the distance is always infallible. Reaction 
has everywhere recognized its mortal enemy in those 
who stand midway between reaction and revolution 
and who act as the midwife of progress, the giant 
who is to smite reaction over its head. For it is a law 
of organic and social life history, that the mediate 
being whose existence is limited to the transition 
epoch, should pave the way from the imperfect to 
the more perfect and higher scales of life. 

Frenchmen and Jews! It seems that in all things 
they were created for one another. They resemble 
one another in their humane and national aspirations, 
and differ only in such qualities as can only be com- 
plemented by another nation, but which are never 
united in one and the same people. The French peo- 
ple excel in alertness, in the humanistic and sympa- 
thetic quality to assimilate all elements; the Jews, on 
the other hand, possess more ethical seriousness than 
the French, and in meeting other types, the Jew will 
rather impress his stamp on his environment than be 
molded by it. The French can rule the world be- 
cause they absorbed the best of the entire human 
race. The J^ws can only be masters of their own 
flock, and with the holy fire which they have kindled 
in their own midst, they will warm and enlighten a 


world composed of heterogeneous elements, and thus 
prevent this world from disintegrating into its ele- 
ments and relapsing into the chaos out of which it 
was raised once before by Judaism. 

The generous help which France has extended to 
civilized peoples toward the restoration of their na- 
tionality, will be remembered longer by our nation 
than by any other. How easily will we come to an 
understanding with this humane French people about 
our religion and its sacred places in Palestine. But 
matters have not gone so far yet. The Jewish people 
must first show itself worthy of the regeneration of 
its historical cult; it must first feel the necessity of 
a national restoration if it would reach that point. 
Until then we need not think about building the 
Temple; we must win the heart of our brethren for 
the great work which will finally bring eternal glory 
to the Jewish nation and salvation to humanity. 

For Jewish colonization on the road to India and 
China, there is no lack, either of Jewish laborers or 
of Jewish talent and capital. Let only the germ be 
planted under the protection of the European pow- 
ers, and the tree of a new life will spring forth by 
itself and bear excellent fruit. 

You smile at my innocent belief in Jewish patriot- 
ism. You have undoubtedly read the Ghetto Scenes 
and you will possibly remind me of the hero, Mendel 
Wilna, who possessed a fixed idea to persuade the 
Rothschilds to devote their capital and energy to the 
rebuilding of the Holy City and Temple, but who 
only succeeded in winning over a child to his pious 


belief. The child, when he grew up and attended the 
University became so wise that he concluded that 
only children and fools can dream of rebuilding Jeru- 
salem. By quoting this episode, you wish to demon- 
strate that the Jewish poet did not see any deeper 
meaning in the patriotic feeling of pious Jews than 
considering them merely as a kind of Jewish Christ- 
mas trees, able to amuse only little children and 
elderly fools. All this, dearest friend, is true, but 
it applies only to the modem poet who is influenced 
by the Germanic spirit and not to a poet like Judah 
Halevi, who poured out his heart's blood in his Jew- 
ish poetry. Halevi, actuated by longing for the land 
of his dreams, grasped the pilgrim's staff, only to find 
a grave for himself in his beloved land. Nor does 
the poet's description characterize real Jewish life. 
You certainly remember the proverb: "Children and 
fools tell the truth." The thought which inspired the 
nervous Mendel Wilna and little Moischele, has been 
the fundamental thought of all pious Jews from the 
time of the destruction of Jerusalem until the present 
day. And there are such Jews — ^let it not worry Mr. 
Kompert, even among the Rothschild brothers. 

But you do not need to overlook the fact that 
Kompert puts the denial of Jewish nationality into 
the mouth of a student who, when doubting the regen- 
eration of the Jewish people, only reflects the scep- 
.tical spirit of the age. What progressive Jew, espe- 
cially in Germany, would have dared within recent 
years to declare himself for the restoration of our 
nation and face his own friends, who would undoubt- 


edly have declared him mad? In addition, I wish to 
remark that Kompert bestowed upon the Jewish stu- 
dent, who is theoretically indifferent, but practically 
devoted to the Jewish nation, — not without purpose 
— ^a Bohemian friend who is theoretically inspired by 
the example of Huss and Zizka, but who becomes 
ultimately a well-to-do monk, and exchanges the cup 
and sword for the cross and incense bowl. I do not 
find, therefore, in Kompert's description of the pro- 
gressive Jews, any more of that extreme indifference 
with which, until recently, a great part of Grerman 
Jewry was charged. To-day, as I have said, we can- 
not accuse them of it without reserve. Remember, 
dear friend, that it was you who criticised my severe 
judgment of the progressive German Jews, a criti- 
cism to which I must do justice now. I have adapted 
the wholesome reaction of Jewish patriotism and 
asserted it in face of an extreme indifference which had 
its seat more in ^^fashion" and in the spirit of the age, 
than in the heart of the people ; and finally it struck 
root. The longing for the land of our forefathers 
and the desire to return there which is so strongly 
displayed by our pious brethren, who even in our 
days visit the Holy Land in order to be buried there, 
has finally affected even the heart of our progressive 
Jews. The frequent journeys to Jerusalem, the sup- 
port given to our brethren there, the help extended 
to the educational and charitable institutions in Pal- 
estine, all these do not come only from orthodox 
Jews. These earnest and lasting endeavors to help 
our brethren in the Orient show that to-day there is 


no lack of good will among all classes of Jews, to 
alleviate the misery of their brethren in the Holy 
Land. This will need only to ripen in the formation 
of a plan to carry out the great patriotic work. 

In Jerusalem, as everywhere, our Jewish philan- 
thropists are confronted with insurmountable diffi- 
culties whenever they wish to solve the historical mis- 
fortune of our brethren by means of charitable insti- 
tutions and distributions of alms, or when they ex- 
pect to introduce moral-spiritual progress among the 
Oriental Jews by means of theoretical educational 
doctrines, ¥rithout any social basis. The acquisition 
of a common ancestral soil, the organization of the 
work on a legal basis, the founding of Jewish soci- 
eties of agriculture, industry and commerce on the 
Mosaic, i.e., social principles, these are the founda- 
tions on which Oriental Jewry will rise again, and in 
its rise, will rekindle the glimmering fire of the old 
Jewish patriotism and light the way to a new life for 
the Jewry of the entire world. On the common 
ground of Jewish patriotism, all Jewish classes will 
meet, orthodox and progressive, rich and poor. They 
will recognize themselves as the descendants of those 
heroes who fought the mightiest and the most civ- 
ilized nations of antiquity : the Egyptians, Assyrians, 
Greeks and Romans, and succeeded in carrying on 
their struggle to the very end of the ancient world, 
which they alone survived. They will look upon 
themselves as children of that race which, unlike any 
other people of history, has suffered a two thousand 
year martyrdom, and which has always carried aloft 


the banner of nationality, namely, the Book of the 

I will have to interrupt our correspondence for the 
present, in order to quote to you from a Hebrew 
work recently published by an extremely pious 
scholar. The author, after thoroughly discussing 
the question of Jewish Nationalism from a Talmudic 
point of view, arrives at the same results that the 
Christian Frenchman reached in his brochure A New 
Oriental Question^ and to which I heartily subscribe 
in all detail. I will cite to you a few lines from this 
work, as I have done in the case of the French 
pamphlet. The author closes his work with the fol- 
lowing words : 

"Even if the time of Grace has not yet come, when 
we should think of erecting an altar to the Lord in 
Zion, even if we cannot expect to win the consent of 
the Sultan, the following proposal is still practical, 
especially at a time when under God's Providence, 
there have arisen in Israel a number of men who pos- 
sess great political influence or rule, by virtue of 
their wealth, men like Montefiore, Albert Cohn, 
Rothschild, Fould, and others. These men are Jew- 
ish princes such as the Jewish people has not had 
since the dispersion. These should organize a Soci- 
ety for the colonization of Palestine, a Chebra Eretz 
Nosheveth, A large number of the rich and respected 
Jews of all parts of the world will undoubtedly join 
them. The program of the organization may include 
the following activities : 

'*a. First, it should raise a fund sufficient to buy 


as many towns, fields and vineyards in the Holy Land 
as possible. Let the desert turn into the Lebanon 
and the hilly places to fruit-bearing plains, and the 
desert shaU again blossom like a lily and bring forth 
fruit like the field blessed by God. And thus, gradu- 
ally, the Society will acquire hiUs, and dales, and 
fields, and villages, which it will in time rent out to 
the colonists." 

**b, Jews from all parts of the world, and espe- 
cially from Russia, Poland and Germany, should be 
brought over by the Society and be settled in Pales- 
tine. Those who are not practical farmers should be 
taught under the direction of experienced teachers, 
employed by the Company. But those who are ac- 
quainted with agriculture should be granted a tract 
of land free of rent for a time, until they are able to 
pay the company a fixed amount of rent. During 
the first years, the company should, in addition, make 
loans of money to the indigent farmers until such 
time as the land begins to yield its harvests. 

**c. Thirdly, a police system must be established 
by this Society, to protect the colonists from the 
attacks of the Bedouins, and to maintain law and 
order in the land in general. 

*'d. Finally, there should be opened under the 
auspices of the Society an agricultural school where 
Jewish youths could receive an adequate preparation 
for the life of a Palestinian farmer. This school, in 
which also other sciences will be tau^t and a knowl- 
edge of the Jewish religion imparted, can be estab- 
lished either in Palestine or in any of the lands of 


the exile ; but it must be located in a land where wine 
and oil and other fruits of the Holy Land are raised, 
so that the pupils of the school may be prepared to 
undertake agriculture in Palestine. 

^^God in his grace will then support us, and we 
will, though small in our beginning, continually grow 
and come more and more into the possession of the 
Holy Land, as the prophet foresaw. We, however, 
must make the beginning, as I have proved by numer- 
ous citations from Talmud and Midrash." 

Thus far Rabbi Kalisher, of Thorn. 

Was I not right when I praised the practical sense 
of our people to you and asserted that pious Jews 
will join hands with the enlightened on the common 
ground of Jewish Nationalism? From another source 
we are told, that last December a meeting was held 
in Australia, which was attended by many Christian 
and Jewish notables, and where resolutions similar in 
spirit to the conclusions arrived at by our French- 
man and the learned rabbi were proposed to a large 
assembly and unanimously adopted.^ 

And thus not only Jews of different lands and dif- 
ferent grades of education, but most Christian de- 
nominations and different peoples concur in the desire 
to restore our people to its national heritage. And 
the most remarkable thing about it is that they all 
agree on the same means to the end. If I still needed 
corroboration for the convictions arrived at after 
years of study and life experience, I should find it in 
the concurring opinions of different men and peoples, 

1 See Note X at end of book. 


who having started from difFerent points of view, 
have arrived at the same results. I already foresee 
the organization of the Society proposed by the 
pious Jewish patriot, and its ultimate settling of 
the Holy Land with Jewish colonists under the pro- 
tection of the Western civilized nations. When the 
Jewish situation in Palestine is once for all adjusted 
under the protection of the law, and on the founda- 
tion of labor, there will arise in the Holy Land, as 
in Germany and other European countries, universi- 
ties conducted by able scholars whose spirit will not 
conflict with but harmonize with the ancient Jewish 
national religion. 

The faithful watchmen of the sacred grave of our 
nationality, in spite of their poverty, do not wish to 
accept help which may injure the ancient Jewish cult, 
and our Western philanthropists continue to com- 
plain that "you cannot do anything with these peo- 
ple." Indeed, the lack of system and the wrong plans 
of the philanthropists lead to no results ; they bring 
only discord. But at least, do not blame those who 
would rather die in misery in the Holy Land than 
give up some precepts of their ancient religion. 
Blame your ignorance of the needs of Jewry, blame 
the spirit of the times, when you can show so little 
success in all your undertakings, whether in the 
Orient or the Occident. 

The rigid crust of orthodox Jewry will melt when 
the spark of Jewish patriotism, now smoldering un- 
der it, is kindled into a sacred fire which will herald 
the coming of the Spring and the resurrection of 


our nation to a new life. On the other hand. Occi- 
dental Judaism is surrounded by an almost indis- 
solvable crust, composed of the dead residue of the 
first manifestation of the modem spirit, from the 
inorganic chalk deposit of an extinct rationalistic en- 
lightenment. This crust will not be melted by the fire 
of Jewish patriotism ; it can only be broken by an ex- 
ternal pressure under the weight of which everything 
which has no future must give up its existence. In 
contradistinction to orthodoxy, which cannot be de- 
stroyed by an external force without at the same time 
endangering the embryo of Jewish Nationalism that 
slumbers within it, the hard covering that surrounds 
the hearts of our cultured Jews will be shattered only 
by a blow from without, one that world events are 
already preparing; and which will probably fall in 
the near future. The old frame-work of European 
Society, battered so often by the storms of revolu- 
tion, is cracking and groaning on all sides. It can no 
longer stand a storm. Those who stand between revo- 
lution and reaction, the mediators, who have an ap- 
pointed purpose to push modem Society on its path 
of progress, will after Society becomes strong and 
progressive, be swallowed up by it. The nurses of 
progress, '*who would undertake to teach the Creator 
himself wisdom, prudence and economy; those car- 
riers of culture, the saviors of Society, the specu- 
lators in politics, philosophy and religion, will not 
survive the last storm. And along with the other 
nurses of progress our Jewish reformers will also 
close their ephemeral existence. On the other hand, 


the Jewish people, along with other historical nations 
will, after this last catastrophe, the approach of 
which is attested by unmistakable signs of the times, 
receive its full rights as a people. 

"Remember the days of old. 
Consider the years of many generations; 
Ask thy father and he will tdl thee. 
Thy elders and they will inform thee. 
When the Most High divided to the nations 

their inheritance. 
When he separated the sons of Adam, 
He set the bounds of the peoples 
According to the number of the Children of 

Israel." 2 

Just as after the last catastrophe of organic life, 
when the historical races came into the world's arena, 
there came their division into tribes, and the position 
and role of the latter was determined, so after the 
last catastrophe in social life, when the spirit of 
humanity shall have reached its maturity, will our 
people, with the other historical people, find its legiti- 
mate place in universal history. 

9 Dent xxzii, 7-8. 


I. Hellenes and Hebrews 

The spiritual views of a man, of whatever religion 
or race, are the products of his particular environ- 
ment. But the roots of these conceptions, as well 
as those of social life in general, lie in the great web 
of organic life with which the social life is closely 
and inseparably connected ; just as organic life itself 
is connected with the next life sphere, the cosmic. 

There is no absolute line of demarcation between 
these three life spheres, just as there is no difference 
between the material and ilie spiritual life. The three 
life spheres do, however, form sharply defined grades 
or epochs within the unified and indivisible universal 
life. And just as in each individual life sphere, so 
also in the totality of the universal life, every step 
toward a higher grade of life must have its antece- 
dents in the lower grade. Compared with the higher 
order of life, the organic, the cosQiic life sphere ap- 
pears lifeless, especially on the border line which leads 
from the life of the cosmic bodies to that of the 
organisms. Here, on the surface of the already 
cooled-off and stiffened cosmic bodies, we see only the 
dead residue of the cosmic life sphere, out of which 
the higher organic life sphere developed. But if we 



obBerve the life of the cosmic sphere where it is still 
being generated and developed in universal space, we 
cannot deny to it attributes of the divine life — ^the life 
that is so beautifully described in our literature in 
the words : ^%ast in creation, first in thought." The 
remarkable phenomena which were observed in the 
modem period, such as the splitting and other 
changes going on in the double comets of Bielasch 
and Liais, the solidifying of the cosmic dust, its as- 
sumption of the spheroid form and spiral movement, 
and finally the grouping of these bodies into sideral 
and planetary systems, these and other similar phe- 
nomena are life processes which can be as little ex- 
plained by an external and one-sided mechanical 
gravitation theory, as the process of the division of 
the embryonic cell or the grouping of the organs in 
an organism. 

Similarly, the human, the social life sphere, rises 
infinitely higher than the organic, but is in nowise 
different from it; just as organic life does not differ 
essentially from the cosmic. Here, also, we meet, on 
the border-line which leads from the organic into the 
social life sphere, the natural organic race which, 
compared with the higher humanitarian life, is spirit- 
less. But in spite of this appearance of spiritless- 
ness, the race is the root of the social life sphere, 
just as the cosmic bodies were the soil out of which 
the organisms grew. 

Social life is, first of all, a product of the life of 
definite races, composed of different folk-tribes, each 
of which has formed its life course in a typical way. 

— ^— -i 

EPIL06X7E 181 

In the course of historical development, the typical 
views of life of the various races came in conflict 
with one another. From the friction of those anti- 
thetical forces were generated the first sparks of the 
spirit, which contain the germs, out of which higher 
and more harmonious forms of life will spring forth. 

The unity of the human genus is a conception 
developed in the course of ages through historical 
activity, and not an original, natural idea, inherent 
in the human soul. It is not an immediate datum of 
organic life, but a product of the social historical 
development process. It has the variety of the prim- 
itive racial tribes as its antecedent, their struggle as 
its conditions, and their final harmonious cooperation 
as its aim. 

The thus conceived unity of mankind presupposes 
a plan of the history of humanity, namely, that the 
multiple phenomena of social life will finally unite and 
cooperate in a not less harmonious manner than the 
varied and different phenomena of organic and cosmic 
hfe. This unified, divine plan of history is, at pres- 
ent, apparently in its last stage of historical develop- 
ment. But in antiquity, when the nations were still 
in the grip of natural life, it was only one people, 
the people of Israel, which, thanks to its particular 
genius, was able to perceive the workings of the 
divine plan in the history of humanity, as well as in 
the organic and cosmic spheres of life. 

If we consider the plan of history, as mapped out 
in the sacred Scriptures of the Jews, without preju- 
dice^ we shall see in it, not only the conception of 


the unity of mankind, but also the unity of all life, 
cosmic, organic and social. Our sacred Scriptures 
presuppose the unity of God, in spite of the apparent 
variety which the word presents, and the unity of the 
human genus, notwithstanding the differences of 
races ; because the total plan of the history of the 
world seems to have been always present to the spirit 
of the Jewish people, from the beginning of its his- 
tory. The entire literature of the Jews is to be con- 
ceived only from this genetic point of view. Judaism 
is a historical religion, a historical cult, in contra- 
distinction to Paganism, which is a natural cult. 

The revelation of the Jewish spirit, which was an 
isolated phenomenon at the dawn of the history of 
humanity, would have been inexplicable and would 
appear supernatural, were it not for the fact that 
there existed originally different tribes, with typi- 
cally individual mental qualities, which had evolved 
fundamentally different views long before the revela* 
tion of the Jewish spirit. This same remarkable 
manifestation of individuality is met in the divergent 
languages of primitive peoples. Primitive religions 
and primitive languages are, as Renan has rightly 
observed, race creations; though he himself had 
hardly any conception of the importance of the 
ancient Jewish historical religion. History corrobo- 
rates the story of anthropology, that there were 
originally different human races and tribes.^ 

iln this, as well as in the subsequent passage, Hess en- 
deavors to prove his objection to the doctrine of monogenism, 
^ theory that there was orij^inally only one race and tlu^t th^ 


If the various races and peoples that still exist 
were not primal, then, in such places as Western 
Asia, Northern Africa and Europe, where peoples 
have lived together for thousands of years, com- 
mingling through intermarriage and influenced by 
common climatic conditions, there should have been 
produced a type, in which there is no trace of their 
foregone ancestors. But all human races and tribal 
types, known to us either from historical monuments, 
or who stiU live to-day in their primitive homes, in 
spite of climatic and cultural influences, have repro- 
duced their original types in such a way that the 
anthropologist can tell, at a glance, the different 
types of humanity, according to their physiological 
and psychical characteristics. The most ancient 
Egyptian monuments depict negroes as well as Indo- 
Germanic and Semitic types, races which have lived 
from time immemorial in the same land and which 
were likewise scattered in different countries and 
climates, yet their primal types have not undergone 
any perceptible changes. 

The languages of those nations with whom our civ- 
ilization originated belong to two primal races, the 
Indo-Germanic and the Semitic. The ancient culture 

differences between races are only secondary, acquired through 
the influence of environment. Hess believes that the various 
races existing to-day are not modifications of one mother-race» 
but are primal and essentially different races; their charac- 
teristics are not acquired, but inherent He does not, however, 
explain how these original and primal races suddenly came 
into existence. For a more detailed discussion of this ques- 
tion, see Note YII and Introduction. — Tranilaiar, 


of the former reached its culminating point in 
Greece; of the latter, in Judaea. In these two coun- 
tries the typical antithesis between the Indo-Germanic 
and Semitic races reached its highest point, and the 
fundamental differences in the views of life of these 
two races were expressed in the classical works of 
the Hellenes and Hebrews. We see, from those works, 
that the former viewed life as a multiplicity and the 
latter as a unity ; the one, looked upon the world as 
eternal being, the other, as eternal becoming. The 
spirit of the one expressed itself in terms of space, 
that of the other, in terms of time. In the expres- 
sion of the Greek spirit, there is the underlying idea 
of a perfectly created world; the Hebrew spirit, on 
the other hand, is permeated with the invisible energy 
of becoming, and the world, according to it, is gov- 
erned by a principle which will begin its workday in 
social life, when it has arrived at a standstill in the 
world of Nature. The classical representatives of 
the natural Sabbath no longer exist as a people, and 
the God of history has dispersed his people, which 
foresaw the historical Sabbath, among the nations. 
But the two primal types of spirit, which no longer 
have classical nations as their representatives, have 
still many such individuals among civilized nations. 
The two giants of German literature, Goethe and 
Schiller, are the Grerman representatives of the two 
types of genius — the Greek and the Hebrew — of the 
natural and historical Sabbath. And when Heine 
divides all men into Hellenists and Nazarenes, he 
designates, unconsciously, these two types of spirit. 


Modem Jews, like the Indo-Germanic nations, have 
in Heine and Borne their representatives of these two 
types of cultural life,^ 

After the antithesis of the two spiritual tendencies 
reached its culminating points in two historical peo- 
ples, the conciliation of these two points of view 
became the task of the civilized nations. 

The first attempt at a reconciliation of the two 
types of civilization was made by Christianity, fol- 
lowed by that of Islam, which contested the right to 
dominion of the former, in Asia, Africa and even in 
a part of Europe itself, namely, in Spain. Just as 
the process of conciliation started from the contact 
of the Hellenic and Jewish cultures, in the ancient 
Jewish fatherland, so in the meeting of Arabic, Jew- 
ish and European cultures in Spain, the second 
fatherland of the Jews, the final mediation process 
between the two types of universal history had its 
origin. But the spiritual spark which arose out of 
the friction of the two tendencies, and which became 
the germ of a higher harmonious tendency in which 
the natural racial antitheses of the historical peoples 
will ultimately find their reconciliation, this social 
li^t germ, the new revelation, was generated by the 
Jewish genius. 

When pagan Rome brought the ancient Hellenic 

a "Natural Sabbath" and '^Historical Sabbath" are used by 
Hess as sTmbolic expressions; the former view looks upon tlie 
world as an accomplislied things the latter, only a becomings 
Le., a continuous creation. The one is the expression of the 
Hellenic spirit, the other that of the Hebrew. — TnuuMar^ 


and Jewish cultural life to an end, there arose, from 
the ruins of the latter, a new view of the world ; and 
when Christian Rome struck the mortal blow at the 
Arabic and Jewish cultural life in Spain, there arose 
again, in the mind of a Jew, from the ruiiis of the 
latter, the modern world view. Spinoza was a 
descendant of the Spanish Jews, who fled to Holland 
in order to escape the ^%oly" Inquisition. 

II. Chbist and Spinoza 

From Judaism, permeated with the scientific spirit, 
Christianity will receive full justice and its impor- 
tance will be properly estimated. The Jewish his- 
torian no longer finds it necessary to assume an 
attitude of fanaticism toward it. Graetz, in the 
third volume of his history, has shown how one can 
be a loyal Jew and at the same time an objective 
judge of that phenomenon which has been a source 
of persecution to the Jews for the last eighteen hun- 
dred years. A few quotations from that writer will 
show with what freedom of spirit and objectivity a 
Jewish historian, not a reformer, has characterized 
Christianity and its founder. 

"While Judaea was still trembling," says our Jew- 
ish historian, "lest the procurator Pontius Pilate 
strike a blow at the population, which might result 
in a rising in arms and great suffering, a strange 
event occurred. It was so small in its beginning, 
that people scarcely noticed it, but gradually. 


through the force of circumstances, it assumed such 
proportions that it turned the history of the world 

into new paths Israel was now to commence 

his mission in earnest ; he was to become the teacher 
of nations."^ 

^^It was due to the strange movement which arose 
under the governorship of Pilate, that the teachings 
of Judaism won the sympathy of the heathen world. 
But this new form of Judaism, changed by foreign 
elements, became estranged from and antagonistic to 
the source from which it sprang. Judaism could 
hardly rejoice at her offspring, which soon turned 
coldly from her and struck out into strange, diver- 
gent paths. If Judaism does not wish to strip off 
its ancient individuality and become disloyal to its 
own convictions, it must continue its existence in 
opposition to the religion to which she gave birth. 
This new movement, this old doctrine in a new garb, 
or rather Essenism intermingled with foreign ele- 
ments, is Christianity, whose advent and early devel- 
opment belong to the Judiean history of this epoch." 

"As regards Jesus himself,'* says Graetz, **on ac- 
count of his Galilean origin, he could not have stood 
high in that knowledge of the Law which through 
the schools of Shammai and Hillel had become preva- 
lent in Judaea. His small stock of learning and his 
corrupt half- Aramaic language pointed unmistaka- 

-ii Oeschichts d$r Jud§n, 9nd edition, VoL III, Ch. XI, p. 
316. The chapter, from which we cite onlj a few fragments, 
gives to the hLstory of the development of Christianity, a new 
historical viewpoint and supplies it with new sources. See 
also VoL IV, Chapters V, VIII, IX, and notes. 


\Aj to his birthplace in Galilee. His deficiency in 
knowledge, however, was compensated by his intensely 
sympathetic character. Earnestness and moral pu- 
rity were his undeniable attributes; they stand out 
in all the authentic accounts of his life that have 
reached us, and appear even in those garbled teach- 
ings which his followers placed' in his mouth. The 
gentle disposition and the humility of Jesus remind 
one of Hillel, whom he seems to have taken as his 
model, and whose golden rule, ^^What you wish not 
to be done to yourself, do not do unto others," he 
adopted as the starting-point of his moral code. Like 
Hillel, Jesus looked upon promotion of peace and the 
forgiveness of injuries as the highest forms of virtue. 
His whole being was permeated by that deeper re- 
ligiousness which consecrates to God not only the 
hour of prayer, a day of penitence, and longer or 
shorter periods of devotional exercise, but every step 
in the journey of life, which turns every aspiration of 
the soul toward Him, subjects everything to His 
will, and with childlike trust, commits everything to 
His keeping. He was filled with that tender, broth- 
erly love which Judaism teaches should be manifested 
even to an enemy. Certainly no curse against his 
enemies escaped his lips, and his enthusiastic admirers 
have done him an injustice when they placed in his 
mouth a curse or even unfriendly words against his 
own mother. He reached the ideal of the passive 
virtues which the Pharisees inculcated: ^Be of the 
oppressed and not of the oppressors; receive abuse 


and return it not ; let the motive of all your actions 
be the love of God, and rejoice in suffering."^ 

'* Jesus must, from the idiosyncrasies of his nature, 
have been powerfully attracted by the Essenes, who 
led a contemplative life apart from the world and its 
vanities. When John, the Baptist — or more cor- 
rectly, the Essene, — invited all to come to receive 
baptism in the Jordan, to repent and prepare for the 
Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus hastened to obey the call 
and was baptized by him. Although it cannot be 
proved that Jesus was formally admitted into the 
order of the Essenes, much of his life and work can 
only be explained on the supposition that he had 
adopted their fundamental principles. Like the Es- 
senes, Jesus highly esteemed self-inflicted poverty, 
and despised the mammon of riches. . . • Commu- 
nity of goods, a peculiar doctrine of the Essenes, was 
not only approved, but positively enjoined by Jesus, 
for his close disciples had a common purse and shared 
their goods. Like the Essenes, he reprobated every 
form of oath. ''Swear not at all," taught Jesus, 
"neither by heaven nor by the earth, nor by your 
head, but let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay" 
(James v, 12). Miraculous cures said to have been 
performed by him, such as exorcism of demons from 
those who believed themselves to be possessed, were 
often made by the Essenes. It was, therefore, not 
considered a special miracle that Jesus could do the 

aSabbath» 88b; Yoma, SSa; Gittin, S6b. The style of the 
Myings indicates that they were originally a part of an andent 


same thing. We can also infer from the life that his 
friends led, that the founder of the sect embraced 
Essenism. Of his brother James, it is said, with all 
certainty that he led the life of an Essene, for he did 
not drink wine nor eat meat nor use oil, and always 
dressed in linen. But it would seem that Jesus 
adopted only the essential traits of Essenism, such 
as the predilection for poverty, the contempt for 
riches and property, the community of goods, celib- 
acy, the fear of pronouncing an oath and the ability 
to exert a curative influence upon maniacs. The 
unimportant practices, such as the observance of 
strict levitical purity, the frequent taking of baths 
and the wearing of linen robes, he dropped. Even 
baptism did not play an important role with him, for 
we do not find it emphasized either in the stories told 
about him or in the sayings attributed to him." 

**After John had been imprisoned by Herod An- 
tipas in the fortress of Macharus, Jesus thought sim- 
ply of continuing his master's work. Like John, he 
preached ^^Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at 
hand,"^ without perhaps having then a suspicion of 
the part he was afterward to play in that Kingdom 
of Heaven. Jesus apparently felt that if his appeal 
was not to be lost in the desert, like that of the Bap- 
tist, but bring forth lasting results, it must not be 
addressed to the whole nation, but to a particular 

* Matthew iv, 19. In the parallel passage, Mark i, 15, there 
are added to the above the rather suspicious words: "and be- 
lieve the gospel." The term Evangelion is of post-PaiiUae 
origin and could hardly have been used by Jesus. 


class of the Jews. The middle classes, inhabitants of 
towns of greater or lesser importance, were not want- 
ing in godliness, piety and morality, and conse- 
quently a call to them to repent and forsake their 
sins would have been meaningless. The declaration 
made to Jesus by the young man who was seeking 
the way of eternal life, *From my youth I have kept 
the laws of God; I have not committed murder or 
adultery, nor have I stolen or borne false witness ; I 
have honored my father and loved my neighbor as 
myself,' * might have been made by the greater num- 
ber of the middle-class Jews of that time. The de- 
scription of the later writers of the corruption of 
the Jews and of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, in 
the time of Jesus, is pure fiction. The disciples of 
Shammai and Hillel, the followers of the zealot Judas, 
the bitter foes of the Herodians and of Rome, were 
not morally sick and were not in need of a physician. 
They were ever ready for self-sacrifice and Jesus 
wisely refrained from turning to them. Still less was 
he inclined to attempt to reform the rich, the friends 
of the Romans and the Herodians. From these, the 
warning of the simple, unlearned moralist and 
preacher, his reproof of their pride, their venality 
and inconstancy, would only have elicited mockery 
and derision. Jesus therefore determined to seek out 
those who did not belong to or had been expelled 
from the Jewish community. There were in Judaea 
at the time many who had no conception of the 
wholesome truths of Judaism, of its laws, its history 
« Matthew, xix, 16-90, and parallel passages. 


and its future. They were publicans and tax-gath- 
erers who were shunned by the patriots, as promoters 
of Roman interests, who turned their backs upon the 
Law, and led a wild life, heedless alike of the past 
and of the future. There were also poor, ignorant 
handicraftsmen and menials {Amrhaaretz)^ who were 
seldom able to visit the capital, or listen to teachings 
which, indeed, they would probably not have under- 
stood. It was not for them that Sinai had flamed 
or the prophets had uttered their cry of warning; 
for the teachers of the Law, more intent upon ex- 
pounding doctrines than upon reforming their hear- 
ers, failed to make the Law and the prophets intelli- 
gible to those classes, and consequently did not draw 
them into their fold. It was to these classes that 
Jesus turned, to snatch them out of their torpor, 
their ignorance and their ungodliness. He felt that 
he was called to save the ^lost sheep of the house of 
Israel.' ^They that be whole need not a physician, 
but they that are sick.' ^ 

^^ Jesus, however, by word and example, raised the 
sinner and publican, and filled the hearts of those 
poor, neglected people with the love of God, trans- 
forming them into dutiful childroi of their heavenly 
Father. He animated them with his own piety and 
fervor and improved their conduct by the hope he 
gave them of being able to enter the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Above all things, he taught his male and 
female disciples the Essene virtues of self-abnegation 

• Matthew ix, 19; x, 6; xv, 94; xviii, 11-14^ and parallel pas- 


and humility, of the contempt for riches, of charity 
and the love of peace. He bade them become sinless 
as little children, and declared they must be as if 
bom again, if they would become members of the 
approaching Messianic Kingdom. The law of broth- 
erly love and forbearance he carried to the extent 
of self-immolation. *If one smite thee on one cheek, 
turn to him the other also ; and if one sue thee at law 
and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.' 
He taught the poor that they should not take heed 
for meat or drink or raiment, but pointed to the 
birds of the air and the lilies of the field that were 
fed and clothed, yet Hhey toil not neither do they 
spin.^ He taught the rich how to distribute alms— r 
*Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand 
doeth.' He admonished the hypocrite, and bade him 
pray in the secrecy of his closet, placing before him 
a short form of prayer — ^*Our Father,' which may 
possibly have been in use among the Essenes. 

^^ Jesus made no attack upon Judaism itself. He 
had no idea of becoming the reformer of Jewish doc- 
trine or the propounder of a new Law. He sought 
merely to redeem the sinner, to call him to a good 
and holy life and to make him worthy of participa- 
tion in the approaching Messianic time. He insisted 
upon the unity of God, and was far from attempting 
to change in the slightest degree the Jewish concep- 
tion of the Deity. To the question once put to him 
by an expounder of the law, 'What is the essence of 
Judaism?' he replied, 'Hear, O Israel, our God is 
one,' and 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyselF; 


— ^these are the chief commandments. When a man 
approached him with the words : ^Good Master,' Jesus 
remarked : ^Call me not good, there is none good but 
One, that is, my Father in Heaven.' His disciples, 
who remained true to Judaism, promulgated the dec- 
laration of their master — ^'I have not come to destroy 
but to fulfil; till heaven and earth pass, one jot or 
one tittle shall in nowise pass from the Law till all 
be fulfilled.' « 

He must have kept the Sabbath holy, for those of 
his followers who were attached to Judaism strictly 
observed the Sabbath, which they would not have 
done had their master disregarded it. It was only 
the Shammaitic strictness in the observance of the 
Sabbath which forbade even the healing of the sick 
on that day, that Jesus protested against, declaring 
that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Jesus 
made no objection to the existing custom of sacri- 
fice, he merely demanded — ^and in this the Pharisees 
agreed with him — ^that reconciliation with one's fel- 
low-man should precede any act of atonement.*^ He 
did not even oppose fasting when practised without 
ostentation or hypocrisy. He was so completely 
Jewish, that he shared the narrow views of his time, 

6 Matthew v, 17-19. Cf. the Epistle of James, x, 13. The 
fact that the extreme antinomist Mark formulates the say- 
ing in the opposite sense, namely, ''I have come to abrogate 
the Law," proves the authenticity of the original form as quoted 
in the two synoptic Gospels. We find in the Talmud (Sabbath, 
116b) the same saying in its gospel form: ''And it is written 
in it (i.e. in the Gospel): ''I have not come to abrogate any 
law of Moses or to add anything to it.*' 

7 Cf . the last Mishnah of Yoma. 


and, like the Jews of the period, thoroughly despised 
the heathen world, which included the Roman op- 
pressors and their followers, the Oriental Greeks and 
Syrians. One must not throw holy things to the 
dogs, he taught, nor cast pearls before swine, lest 
th^y trample them under their feet and turn again 
and rend you. When a Canaanite or a Syrian-Greek 
woman from Phoenicia implored him to heal her pos- 
sessed daughter, he replied harshly, '^I was sent only 
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and it is not 
right to take the bread away from the mouth of the 
children and cast it to the dogs." To his disciples he 
repeatedly spoke: Do not follow in the paths of the 
heathens and do not enter the cities of the Samari* 
tans. While Jesus thus confined himself to the 
bounds of Judaism, he had no intention to proclaim 
a new revelation or to originate a new covenant,^ 
but limited himself to the task of sowing the seeds 
of religion and morality in such hearts as had here- 
tofore been barren of it. Jesus did not teach the 

8 It is true that the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chs. 
t-tU, partly represents Jesus as one who wishes to oppose his 
tcadiing to the Law. But the authenticity of the Sermon 
itself is very doubtful. Mark does not record tlie Sermon on 
the Mount at all. Luke knows it only in part We may, there- 
fore, suspect it to be an interpolation in Matthew's ground- 
work. Finally, it is full of contradictions; here, the Law is 
praised and immediately afterward it is condemned. Is it 
possible that Jesus should have uttered such an untruthful 
statement in regard to the Law as "It is written, 'Hate thy 
cnany*?" (Ibid., ▼, 43). Only an enemy of the Law like 
Mark could have formulated it, he who established the famous 
antithesis between Judaism and Christianity and who did not 
always adhere to the truth. 


immortality of the soul, in the sense of a continued 
existence of the soul after its liberation from the 
body and its sojourning in the abode of heaven, but 
emphasized the resurrection of the body at a definite 
time,^ in accordance with the teachings of Judaism 
current in his day. The resurrection of the just and 
pious was, according to him, to take place on earth, 
and as the beginning of the inauguration of a new 
order of things, the future world {Olam Aob-ba), 
which he, like the Pharisees and Essenes, identified 
with the Messianic era and the initiation of the King^ 
dom of Heaven. He, like the Pharisees, threatened 
sinners with eternal punishment in a fiery pit {Ge* 
henna). ^^ The merit of Jesus consists in his ef- 
forts to impart inner force to the precepts of Juda- 
ism, in his upholding the Jewish doctrine of the 
Brotherhood of Man, in his insistence that moral 
laws be placed in the foreground, and in his endeav- 
ors to have them accepted by those who had hitherto 
been regarded as the lowest and most degraded of 
human beings. 

His great design, the central point of all his 
thoughts, Jesus disclosed on one occasion to the most 
intimate circle of his disciples. He led them to a 
retired spot at the foot of Mount Hermon, near 
Ciesarea Philippi, where the Jordan rushes forth 
from mighty rocks, and in that remote solitude he 
revealed to them the hidden object of his thoughts. 
But he contrived his discourse in a way that it ap- 
peared to be his disciples, who at last elicited from 

• Matthew zzii, 93-89. lo Matthew v, 99. 


him the revelation that he considered himself the ex- 
pected Messiah. He asked his followers whom they 
thought him to be. Some replied that he was thought 
to be Elijah, the forerunner of the Messiah; others, 
that he was the prophet whose advent Moses had pre- 
dicted; upon which Jesus asked them, ^^But whom 
say ye that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, 
**Thou art the Christ." Jesus praised Peter's dis- 
cernment and admitted that he was the Messiah, but 
forbade his disciples to divulge the truth, or, for the 
present, from speaking about it at all.^^ Such was 
the mysteriously-veiled birth of Christianity. When, 
a few days later, the most trusted of his disciples, 
Simon Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, James 
and John, timidly suggested that Elijah must pre- 
cede the Messiah, Jesus replied that Elijah had al- 
ready appeared, though unrecognized, in the person 
of the Baptist. ^^ Had Jesus from the very com- 
mencement of his career nourished these thoughts in 
the depths of his soul, or had they first taken shape 
when the many followers he had gained seemed to 
make their realization possible? This is a puzzle 
which cannot be solved. Jesus never publicly called 
himself the Messiah, but made use of other expres- 
sions which were doubtless current among the Es- 
senes. He called himself ^Hhe Son of Man," ^^ {Bar- 
NMh)j alluding probably to Daniel vii, 18, ^^One 

11 Matthew xvi, ia-90. In the Gospel of Mark (vUi, 97-30), 
the story retains more of its originality. In Luke ix, 18, it is 
more or less confused. 

» Matthew xirii, 10. iiL 

12 Matthew, xvii, 10. 


like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, 
and came to the Ancient of Days," a verse which, 
at that time, was made to point to the Messiah him- 
self.^* There was yet another name which Jesus ap- 
plied to himself in his Messianic character — ^the mys- 
terious words "Son of God,*' probably taken from 
the seventh verse of the second Psalm, "The Lord 
has said unto me, thou art my son, this day have I 
begotten thee," a verse which was in certain Jewish 
circles interpreted to refer to the Messiah.-^*^ Was 
this expression used by Jesus figuratively, or did he 
wish it to be taken in a literal sense? As far as we 
know, he never explained himself clearly on this sub- 
ject, not even later, when it was on account of the 
meaning attached to these words that he was brought 
to trial. His followers afterward disagreed among 
themselves upon the matter, and the various ways in 
which they interpreted his words divided them into 
different sects, among which a new form of idolatry 
unfolded itself. 

Other appellations were employed by Jesus to des- 
ignate his Messianic character, such as ^^Heavenly 
Bread" (Mamia) and the "Bread of Life," ^^ ex- 
pressions which were doubtless employed by the 
Essenes. He called his followers "the salt of the 
earth." ^'^ How Jesus expected to fulfil the Messi- 

14 Cf. Sanhedrin, 98a. There the Mes^ah is called by a 
hybrid name Bar-NefUe, a Greek word, meaning ''son of the 
clouds." See also ibid., 96b. 

isSukka, 5da. 

le John yl, 85, 41. 

IT Matthew y, 13-14, and parallel passages. 


anic expectations, is nowhere indicated. It is only 
certain that he thought only of Israel, whom he ex- 
pected to deliver, both from the burden of sin and 
the yoke of the Romans.^^ Of the pagan world, he 
thought as little, when considering himself the Mes- 
siah, as when he was only a disciple of John the 
Baptist. He probably pictured to himself the re- 
demption of Israel in the following manner: that 
when the Jewish people, through love of God and 
man, through self-denial and the assumption of vol- 
untary poverty, would rise, under his leadership, to 
a higher life, God, out of love to his people, would 
perform for them all sorts of miracles, such as the 
deliverance from the rule of the Romans, the return 
of the exiled tribes and final restoration of Israel to 
its former Davidic splendor. 

When Jesus made himself known to his disciples 
as the Messiah, he enjoined upon them, as remarked 
already, to keep the revelation secret. Whether it 
was the fear of Herod Antipas, the slayer of the 
Baptist, that inspired this cautious measure, or 
whether he intended to wait until a larger circle of 
disciples gathered about him to reveal himself as the 
Messiah, cannot be ascertained. He consoled his 
disciples for the present silence imposed upon them, 
by the assurance that a time would come when ^^What 
I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light, and 
what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the 
house tops." What occurred was contrary to what 
Jesus and his disciples expected, for as soon as it 

!• Luke zxiy, 91. 

200 EPIL06TJE 


was known (the disciples having probably not kept 
the secret), that Jesus of Nazareth not only came 
to preach the Kingdom of Heaven, but proclaimed 
himself as the expected Messiah, public sentiment 
rose against him. He was asked to give proofs and 
signs that he was the Messiah, which he was not able 
to do, and he was thus forced constantly to evade 
the questions addressed to him. Many of his fol- 
lowers were vexed at his assuming the role of a Mes- 
siah, and left him. In order not to be discredited in 
the eyes of his disciples, it was necessary that he 
should perform some miracle that would crown his 
work or seal it with his death. They expected, first, 
that he would appear in the capital at the time of 
the Passover Feast and there declare himself in the 
Temple, in the presence of all the people, as the Mes- 
siah. It is said that his own brothers entreated him 
to go to the capital, so that his disciples should at 
last see his great work. ^^For there is no man that 
doeth anything in secret and he himself seeketh to 
be known openly. If thou do these things, show 
thyself to the world." (John vii, 4.) And so Jesus 
was finally forced to enter upon the path of danger. 
How many years Jesus spent in Galilee is unknown ; 
the Gospel sources seem to indicate that his residence 
there lasted only one year, so little did they know of 
the actual events. According to later authorities, 
the time passed by Jesus in his native district was 
three years.^® 

He wished to prevent any misconception as to his 
19 Ireneus, contra har€9€», ii» S8-S9. 


desire to change the Law, and his ready reply to the 
Pharisee who asked what would be required of him 
if he became his disciple was, ^*If thou wilt enter 
into life, keep the commandments; sell what thou 
hast and give to the poor." When he passed Jeri- 
cho and earned near to the capital, he took up his 
abode near the walls of Jerusalem, in the village of 
Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, where the lepers, 
who were forced to avoid the city, had their settle- 
ment. He found shelter in the house of one of these 
outcasts by the name of Simon, who, together with 
his fellow-suiferers, became his followers. The other 
followers that he found at Bethany belonged also 
to the lower class, such as Lazarus and his sisters, 
Mary and Martha. The sources know only of one 
rich resident of Jerusalem, Joseph of Arimathea, 
who became a disciple of Jesus. 

The account of Jesus' entry in Jerusalem as re- 
corded in the Gospel is of a legendary character. It 
seems incredible that the people should one day have 
conducted him into the city in a triumphal march, 
and the following day have demanded his death. The 
one account, like the other, is pure invention, the 
'first designed for the purpose of showing that the 
masses recognized him as the Messiah, the second, in 
order to throw the guilt of his execution upon the 
entire people of Israel. There is also little histori- 
cal truth in the story that Jesus forced his way into 
the Temple, overthrew the tables of the money- 
changers, and drove out the doye-sellers from their 
stalls. Such extraordinary actions would not have 


been passed over in silence by contemporary histori- 
ans. Nor is it anywhere mentioned that money- 
changers and dove-sellers had their tables within the 
precincts of the Temple. We know, however, that 
the Temple management sold the necessary wine, 
birds, or oil to those who brought sacrifices.^^ 

But it is just the most important facts in the life 
of Jesus, namely, the attitude which he assumed 
toward the people of Jerusalem, the Synhedrion and 
the sects, the question whether he really declared 
himself publicly as the Messiah, and how the decla- 
ration was received by the people, which are envd- 
oped by the Gospel writers in such an impenetrable 
veil of mystery, that one cannot fail to suspect the 
legendary character of the whole story. There un- 
doubtedly existed strong prejudices against him 
among the people of the capital. The educated 
classes could hardly be expected to accept an un- 
learned Galilean as the Messiah. Such a supposi- 
tion would have contradicted the age-long tradition, 
that the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem and 
be a descendant of the house of David. It is pos- 
sible that the proverb, *^Can any good thing come 
out of Nazareth?" originated at this time. Devout 
Jews, no doubt, took offence because he associated 
with sinners and publicans, eating and drinking with 
them. Even the disciples of John, the Essenes, were 

The Shammaites certainly objected to his healing 

soShekalim, iv, S; v, 4. 
21 Matthew xi, S-9. 


of the sick on the Sabbath, and would not have hailed 
one, who, in their eyes, violated the Sabbath, as the 
Messiah. Neither could the Zealots expect much of 
Jesus, who did not inspire his followers with hatred 
toward the oppressors, the Romans, but, on the con- 
trary, preached non-resistance and willing submis- 
sion to the Roman authorities as expressed in his 
saying: ^^Render, therefore, unto Caesar the things 
which are Cesar's, and unto God, the things which 
are God's" (Matthew xxii, 21). All these cir- 
cumstances, which could by no means be reconciled 
with the traditional conception of the Messiah, 
caused the higher and the learned classes to assume 
an indifferent attitude toward him, and consequently 
he could not have been received in Jerusalem with 
any marked degree of enthusiasm. All these objec- 
tions, however, afforded no ground for any legal ac- 
cusation against him. Freedom of thought and dif- 
ference of opinion had, owing to the frequent debates 
between the schools of Shammai and Hillel, become 
a firmly established right, and one would hardly be 
prosecuted because of a difference in a religious opin- 
ion, provided, however, that he did not openly vio- 
late any of the authoritative laws or reject the ac- 
cepted conception of God. It was just in this regard 
that Jesus laid himself open to accusation. The re- 
port had spread that Jesus had called himself the 
Son of God, an appellation which, if taken literally, 
undermines the very essential religious conceptions 
of Judaism; so that the representatives of the re- 
ligion could not afford to pass the incident over in 


silence. But how was it possible for the tribunal to 
ascertain whether Jesus really used the expression, 
or what meaning he attached to the words? How 
could they discover the secret of his sect? It was 
necessary for this purpose to find a traitor from 
among his disciples. Such a man was found in Judas 
Iscariot, who, incited by greed, delivered to the 
tribunal, we are told, the man whom he heretofore 
had revered as the Messiah. A Jewish source, of 
ancient origin and apparently trustworthy, seems to 
place in the true light the use made of this traitor. 
The Court required, in order to arraign Jesus either 
as a false prophet or as a seducer of the people 
{Me8ith)y the evidence of two witnesses, who had 
heard him call himself by the name *'Son of God." 
Judas was therefore required to induce him to speak 
on the subject, so that the two witnesses, concealed 
nearby, should be able to hear every word. This 
extraordinary process of obtaining testimony against 
a suspected person was employed only in one case, 
namely, when a person was suspected of being a se- 
ducer of the people.^^ 

22 Both sources, the BabyUmian Talmud, Sanhedrln, 67a (in 
the uncensored Amsterdam edition of 1645), and the Jem- 
■hahni Palestinian Talmud Sanhedrin, Tii, 16, relate that this 
special procedure of concealing witnesses was employed against 
Jesus. The first says: ''And this procedure," alluding to what 
was mentioned before, 'Vas followed in regard to Ben Satda, 
at Lud, and they hanged him on the day before Passover." 
The latter says: ''Thus they did to Ben Satda at Lud. They 
concealed two witnesses and then they brought him to court 
and stoned him." The identification of Ben Satda and Jesus 
is assumed by the Talmud to be certain. The meaning of the 


According to the Christian sources, Judas' act of 
treachery consisted in this: that he pointed Jesus 
out to his accusers by giving him a kiss of homage 
while surrounded by his disciples and the masses. It 
is strange, however, that such a stratagem should be 
employed to identify a man who, according to the 
self-same accounts, had entered Jerusalem in tri- 
umphal procession and preached openly in the Tem- 
ple! As soon as Jesus was seized by the soldiers, 
almost all of his disciples left him and sought safety 
in flight; Simon Peter was the only one who re- 
mained. At daybreak, on the 14th of Nissan, 
namely, on the eve of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, 
Jesus was brought before the Synhedrion. It seems 
that the tribunal, before which he was brought to 
trial, was not the great Synhedrion, but the smaller 
one, composed of twenty-three members, for the one 
who presided at the trial was not the President of 
the Synhedrion, a member of the house of Hillel, but 
Joseph Caiaphas, the High Priest. The purpose of 
the trial was to determine whether Jesus really con- 
sidered himself to be the Son of God, as the witnesses 
had testified. It is rather unbelievable that he was 
tried, as the Gospels relate (Matt, xxvi, 61), be- 
cause he was supposed to have boasted that he was 

word Satda, Is not known. The etymological derivation which 
the Talmud gives in loeo, as well as in Sabbath, lOib (un- 
censored edition), is rather odd. If we take into oondderation 
the fact that during the Second Temple trials of seducers 
occurred very seldom or probably not at all, we are inclined 
to believe that the kalaekah in the above-quoted Mishnah and 
the Baraitha are the only authentic sources in the Tafanud 
concerning Jesus. 


able to destroy the Tenple and build It up again in 
three days. Such an assertion, if really made by 
him, could not have been the object of an arraign- 
ment. The accusation doubtless pointed to the sin 
of blasphemy {Griddwf-blasphemia), and to the sup- 
posed affirmation of Jesus that he was the Son of 
6od.^^ To the direct question as to that point, 
Jesus gave no answer and remained silent. YThen 
the President repeated the question and asked him 
if he were the Son of God, he anerwered, ^'Thou hast 
said it," ^* and added, "Hereafter shall ye see the 
Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and 
coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matt, xxvi, 24). 
On hearing this assertion, the judges concluded that 
he bdieved himself to be the Son of Grod. The High 
Priest rent his garments, and the Court condemned 
him to death as a blasphemer.^^ From the accounts 
of the Christian sources, we cannot infer that ac- 

xMattbew xxvU G3. It is rather strange that the Gospels 
State that the witnesses who testified against Jesus had given 
false testimony, while the .Gospels themselves describe Jesus 
as repeatedly asserting that he was the Son of God, and this 
was just what the witnesses accused him of. 

s^The Gospel writers thcmselyes did not know how Jesus 
answered the questions directed .at him by the Court. Accord- 
ing to Matthew zxvi, 64^ the answer was: ''Thou hast said it," 
which may mean, "yes," as well as ''no." According to Luke 
sdi, 69, Ihe answer was: "Ye say that I am," and according to 
Mark idT, 69, his answer was: "I am he." According to John, 
Jesus confessed to the charge and pointed to his public activity 
—a rather suspicious move. 

ssThe three Synoptic Gospels all agree that the Court con- 
demned Mat on the charge of blasphony. The fact that the 
President rent his garments, Matthew xxvi, 65; Mark zIt, 
63-65, testifies to it, for the Sanhedrin, ch. vii, Mishnas, 10-11, 


cording to the existing penal laws, the judges had 
pronounced an unjust sentence against him. The 
evidence was against him. The Synhedrion received 
the sanction of the sentence, or rather the permis- 
sion to carry out the execution from Pontius Pilate, 
the Procurator, who happened then to be in Jerusa- 

Pilate, before whom Jesus was brought, asked him 
about the political side of his activity, whether he, 
as Messiah, had also declared himself King of the 
Jews, and when Jesus gave the ambiguous answer, 
^^Thou hast said it," Pilate confirmed the s^itence.^^ 
The story reported in the Gospels that Pilate had 
found him innocent but that the Jews had insistently 
clamored for his death, is legendary.^*^ When Jesus 

lequiTes such action on bearing the name of God blasphemed. 
Even John xiz, 7, says that Jesus was condemned according 
to law, for he had declared himself as the Son of God. 

>• Three Synoptic Gospels, Matthew zzvii, 11; Maris xv, 9; 
Luke xzii, S; report Jesns' answer to Pilate as the same he gave 
to the High Priest: ''Thou hast said it," which is ambiguous. 
John xviii, S4f, makes him deny the assertion by asking Pilate 
a counter question, "Sayest thou this thing of tfaysdf or did 
others tell it to thee of me?** and adding to it the dedaratioo, 
"My kingdom is not of this world.*' 

S7 Only Matthew zzvii, 94, reports that Pilate poured water 
on Jesus' hands as a sign of his innocence and that the dream 
of Pilate's wife was the cause of his believing Jesus guiltless. 
But the washing of the hands was a Jewish custom, prescribed 
in the case of a man found murdered and tiie perpetrator of 
the crime not having been discovered. Hence Pilate, as a 
Roman general, could not have employed it. Rightly have 
Kortlin and HUgenfeld observed that this passage must have 
been inserted by a later follower of Paid, who wanted to 
demonstrate that the pagan Pilate and his wife were more 
favorably inclined toward Jesus than the Jews. 


was scoffed at, and obliged to wear the crown of 
thorns in ironical allusion to. the Messianic and royal 
dignity he had assumed, it was not the Jews who in- 
flicted the indignities upon him, but the Roman sol- 
diers, who sought throu^ him to deride the Jewish 
nation. The Jewish judges manifested so little per- 
sonal animosity toward Jesus that they gave him, 
as they gave to every other criminal, the cup of wine 
mixed with frankincense, in order to render him in- 
vsensible to pains of death.^® According to the then 
existing penal laws, a blasphemer was first to be 
stoned and after his death, to be hanged for a short 
time on a tree.^^ Jesus was executed in this manner. 
But the Christian sources would have us believe that 
he was crucified at nine in the morning, and that his 
torture lasted for six hours, until three in the after- 
noon, when he expired. His last words were a quota- 
tion from the Psalms, in the Aramaic dialect: *^My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" (^^Eli, eli, 

ss Matthew zxrii* 94, and parallel passages. This cup of 
wonnwood wine was prescribed by the Law as an act of mercy. 
(Ebel Rabbatai or Semachoth, cfa. zi, 9; Sanhedrin, 43a.) 
In the GospelSy however, it is described as an act of cruelty 
agaipst Jesus. The Gospds also differ in regard to the liquid 
in question. Mark says, in agreement with the Talmud, that 
It consisted of wine and myrrh or frankincense. Matthew be- 
Ileres it to hare been vinegar and galL The other writers do 
not mention the incident at alL 

'•In the Mishnah Sanhedrin, ch. ▼, 7, stoning and post- 
morton hanging is the prescribed punishment for blasphemy 
and idolatry. And doubtless Jesus was executed in the same 
way. The Gospels, however, do not mention stoning, but speak 
of crudflzion, and that as having been carried out before his 
deaths which is certainly untrue. 


lama shebaktani")? The Roman soldiers placed, in 
mockery, the following inscription upon the cross: 
"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." The cruci- 
fixion and the burial of the body probably took place 
outside of the town, on a spot by the name of Gol- 
gotha, the place of the skulls, reserved for the burial 
of condemned criminals. How great was the woe 
caused by that execution ! It was the indirect cause 
of innumerable deaths and interminable suffering 
among millions of the sons of his people. Millions 
of broken hearts and tragic fates have not yet atoned 
for his death. He is the only mortal of whom it can 
be truthfully said that he influenced the world more 
by his death than by his life. Golgotha, the place of 

skulls, became for a great part of humanity, a new 

The Jewish historian, in continuing his narrative, 
shows how, as a result of the Pauline trend of 
thought, which inclined toward the pagan view of 
life, there arose, already in the primitive Church, 
sects and difference of opinion, traces of which are 
to be recognized in the Gospel writings, the most 
ancient of which was composed, as late as the time 
of Bar Kochba (182-188). In order to conquer the 
pagan world, the daughter of Judaism was forced to 
make greater concessions to paganism than the latter 
made to Judaism. 

Christianity represents a departure from the clas- 
sical essence of both Judaism and Paganism. The 
Jewish view of the world was, and is, that the uni- 

soQraets, Hiitory, Vol. III. German edition. 


verse is a sacred creation of one Supreme Being. To 
Paganism, in its typical classical form, which reached 
its culmination in the Greek spirit, the divine unity, 
present in the world, appeared only as a product of 
the harmonious combination of multiple and various 
imiversal forces. The creative essence of Judaism 
did not disappear with its created classical culture, 
because the Jewish creative genius did not exhaust 
itself in its creation. Classical Paganism, however, 
saw its genius disappear with its culture, the roots 
of which lay only on the surface of life, and which 
were consequently swept away by the tide of bar^ 
barous tribes which flooded the ancient world during 
the closing period of antiquity. To the pagans, who 
saw the gradual disappearance of their own creative 
genius, along with the environment wherein it acted, 
it appeared, one day, that the divine harmony of the 
pluralistic world is no more divine and sacred but 
God-forsaken, and, finally. Paganism sought refuge 
in its opposite, the creative spirit of Judaism. On 
the other hand, only such Jews could satisfy the 
religious cravings of the Pagan world as had es- 
tranged themselves from their own world and were 
able to merge with the pagan environment so as to 
draw it along with themselves to the spirit which ani- 
mated them — such Jews as did not look upon them- 
selves as chosen children of a holy Being, but only as 
sinners and apostates. Thus there arose the double 
separation of tKe worldly element from the divine 
in Judaism on the one hand, and the divine from 
the worldly element in Paganism on the other; and 


as a result of the combination of a Judaism devoid 
of its element of worldliness and a Godless Paganism, 
there was bom the Christian view, according to 
which a Jewish saint in the garb of a pagan man, 
had come to raise and prepare the nations for a 
better, divine world which, however, possesses all 
the characteristics of other-worldliness. 

This other-worldliness, in the course of historical 
development, in the measure that the nations ap- 
proached the Jewish historical religion, assumed more 
and more of a secular character. And the more 
Jewish, the more humane the pagan world became, 
the more could Jews participate in the culture of 
this world and contribute to its progress. And 
finally, when, after the long struggle between the 
pagan world of sensuality and barbarous force, on 
the one hand, and the spiritual, mystic, Jewish view 
on the other, the sun of modem humanitarian civili- 
zation shed its feeble rays upon a better and more 
perfect world, it was a Jew who was able to signal 
to the world that the final stage of the process of 
human development has begun. 

III. The Genetic View of the Woeld 

Inasmuch as Spinoza's Works have already been 
translated into Hebrew, the time has come when we 
must defend this great Jewish teacher against mis- 
representation on the part of Jewish scholars. The 
objection raised by Luzzato against Spinoza proves 
only that this great Hebrew scholar has wandered 
into a field in which he is a total stranger. The 


teaching of Spinoza, which derives the entire spirit- 
ual-moral system of life from the single idea of God 
as the ground of Nature and Thought, and which 
assigns the Knowledge of God as the highest aim of 
life, reconciles the apparent contradiction between 
philosophy and experimental science on the one hand 
and between reason and feeling on the other. Luz- 
zato, who charges the system of Spinoza, which is an 
immediate outflow of the Creative Spirit with a lack 
of emotion, calling it a system of dry reason, dis- 
plays only his own ignorance of the true nature of 
these problems and of their masterly solution by 

The basic idea of the system of Spinoza, namely, 
that God is the only substance, the ground and origin 
of all being, is the fundamental expression of the 
Jewish genius, which has ever manifested itself in 
divine revelations from the time of Moses and the 
Prophets, down to modem days. These manifesta- 
tions of the Jewish genius are not a supernatural 
phenomenon, but form a part of the great eternal 
Law which governs all three life spheres, the cosmic, 
organic and social. The special field of operation 
of the Jewish genius, however, is the social sphere, 
and it is due to it that a unified historical develop- 
ment of humanity was made possible. The revela- 
tions of the Jewish spirit express the universal law 
in its entirety ; its past workings as well as its future 
operations, using the scientific formula of to-day with 
the same facility as formerly the proofs of imagina- 
tion and feeling* 


The Jewish view, which sees in the world of Na- 
ture and life the continual operation of one creative 
force, is confirmed by observation. We cannot fail 
to conceive in any created phenomenon in Nature, or 
in the sphere of spirit, the immediate influence of the 
Creator. Those who try to avoid this conclusion, 
explaining the rise of beings as only a result of a 
mere mechanical operation of the law of cause and 
effect, and oppose to the theory of creation that of 
the eternity of matter, will find it difficult to uphold 
their view. The hypothesis of the eternity of the 
atoms of matter and of their rigidity and unchange- 
ability does not explain all phenomena of the behavior 
of matter under certain conditions, and is gradually 
giving way to the genetic view, which sees everywhere 
only movements and no fixed atoms nor any stable 
cosmic ether. Chemical atoms have not existed from 
eternity, but, like organic germs, were once generated 
and are subject to the great law of growth and decay. 
They arose through the act of creation, by the same 
act which successively calls into existence every being, 
and continues to form centers of gravity, which in 
the cosmic world we name atoms; in the organic, 
germs ; and in the social, revelations. 

Creation, however, does not mean the forming of 
new elements, but only a new arrangement of existing 
materials. Every creation is a combination of two 
opposite movements into a new, balanced and more 
perfect one. The cosmic rotation of the planetary 
bodies, which is the result of two opposite movements, 
the centripetal and the centrifugal, is an excellent 


illustration of this form of combination. A spiritual 
creation is, similarly, a combination of two preceding 
mental tendencies into a new synthesis. Every phy- 
sical creation presupposes the eternal Creator, and 
every spiritual creation an inspiration, which is only 
a channel through which the immediate influences of 
the Creator are conveyed. Religion is the greatest 
and the highest of such inspirations. Can we, then, 
doubt its teaching of the existence of a creative ele- 
ment in life, which is evidenced by experience and 
science; or shall we name it supernatural, an excep- 
tion to the eternal law? It requires extraordinary 
reason to do so. 

The creative process in the social life-sphere oper- 
ates according to a well-formed plan, which is gradu- 
ally being unfolded in history, just as a similar plan 
was previously developed in Nature. Spiritual >crea- 
tions, like the organic, have their paleontological and 
modem epochs, the last stage of which is the age of 
maturity, in which the development of social life will 
come to completion. The coming of the future epoch 
of social life will be hastened by the efforts and 
energy of the Jews, who have a special calling for 
conveying to the world revelations affecting the social 

The typical expression of the Jewish genius, the 
genetic view, is essentially one with all its representa- 
tives, with Moses and the Prophets as well as with 
Spinoza. The first do not contradict modem science, 
their views are only divergent and different in exter- 
nal form from that of science but not contradictory 


to it. Nor is Spinoza's teaching contradictory to 
Jewish Monotheism. What Jewish revelation em- 
phasized most is the unity of the creative spirit, in 
opposition to the plurality of forces ; and this idea 
has been expressed clearly also by Spinoza. The 
Bible, stripped of its anthropomorphic expressions, 
does not offer a single point which expressly con- 
tradicts the teachings of Spinoza. Moses himself 
says that the Knowledge of God is not found either 
in heaven or in the distances of space, but that the 
real revelation of God takes place within ourselves, 
in our spirit and heart. A similar expression occurs 
in the Talmud. ^^The Holy Presence never descended 
to earth, nor did Moses ascend to heaven." Must 
we consider the anthropomorphic expressions of the 
Bible as dogmas? If so, they will finally undermine 
the fundamental dogma of Jewish teaching which is 
so clearly enunciated in the Shema. Nor is the doc- 
trine of the eternity of the spirit to be misunder- 
stood. The eternity of the spirit does not begin 
after death, but is, like God, always present. 

An external God, who does not manifest himself 
to men as an immediate ever-present Creator, is not 
the God of the Jews, Christians and Mohammedans, 
and can become as little the religious ground of the 
regenerated nations as pagan Polytheism and Pan- 
theism. A Godhead, of whom we know nothing, is 
without influence on our social, spiritual and moral 
life. It is only the creative God who will be the Grod 
of the age of maturity of the social life. The ration- 
alistic view of life suits only the now antiquated form 


of Society, which is at present in the process of dis- 
solution. Just as modem Nationalism is a reflection 
of the spirit of revolution, so is modem rationalistic 
supematuralism a spiritual reflection of the reaction 
against the progressive social tendencies. 

IV. The Last Antagonism 

In order to estimate truly the spiritual attitudes 
toward life we must take into account the social 
movements of which they are the result. The present 
day philosophical point of view differs essentially 
from that held during the last century. Not only 
has science made tremendous progress during this 
time, but it has been greatly influenced by philo- 
sophical criticism and speculation, just as industry 
has been essentially affected by democratic revolution 
and the development of capitalism. The field of bat- 
tle, the struggle itself and the contending forces 
have been changed in the historical course of the 
social movement, which began in the last century and 
which we are still continuing. The speculative ji^ilos- 
opher of the nineteenth century has as little sym- 
pathy with the revolutionary philosopher of the 
eighteenth as the liberal citizen of to-day has for the 
revolutionist of that time. The oppressed industrial 
producers of the last century are the lordly specula- 
tors of our present-day Society. And even within 
the productive class itself, a thorough process of 
separation between its constituent elements has taken 
place. The last resolution, that which we are now 
witnessing, could not, therefore, have previously ere- 


ated a perfected organization. The old, rigid insti- 
tutions of feudal Society and the last dead residue 
of dogmatism must first be dissected by the sharp 
Imife of criticism and analysis, into its elements, 
before new social and spiritual creations can come 
into being. In the course of the development of new 
elements there came to the front a new antagonism 
which did not exist before, and the reconciliation of 
which is at present under discussion. The forces of 
labor in the industrial world on the one hand, and 
the investigators in the scientific field, on the other, 
liberated from the bonds of feudalism and dogma- 
tism alike, have brought forth the last antagonism, 
namely, the one between labor and speculation.^ In 
the revolutionary atmosphere of free competition of 
all labor forces, there were formed centers of gravity 
which will ultimately absorb the individual produc- 
tive forces and organize them for their own purpose. 
Following the law of Gravitation, the fundamental 
law of all life, the single atoms of laborers grouped 
themselves around industrial, and the individual in- 
vestigators around speculative centers. Not only in 
the sphere of industry but even in the field of sci- 
ence, it is no light task to oppose the attractive force 
of the speculative centers. 

In merely negating the speculative system, as in 

iThe words "labor" and ''speculation'* used by Hess here, 
are employed in a double sense. Labor in the industrial sense, 
as an economic factor, and labor as equivalent to investigation 
and experimentation. The first is opposed to "specullition'* in 
its economic meaning, the second to "speculation" in its philo- 
sophic meaning, namely, theorising. — TramUUar. 


merely destroying accumulated capital, we will gain 
but little; for all life has a natural tendency toward 
centralization, combination and organization. If the 
real producers earnestly desire to free themselves 
from the exploitation of the speculators, they must, 
following the successful attempt of English working- 
men, oppose to the mass of accumulated labor in the 
hands of the captains of industry, on the one hand, 
and in the heads of the philosophic speculators on 
the other, the larger mass of the individual produc- 
tions, as well as the results of investigations in the 
scientific field. This applies to scientific material as 
well as to industricd. Materials are only dead cap- 
ital when they are not organized for further creation 
and production. The same law governing all pro- 
ductive life movements serve also for further crea- 
tions out of the already gained materials. The so- 
called indestructibility of matter is nothing but the 
persistence of the productive force inherent in mat- 
ter even in its dissolution and decomposition. Should 
the industrial and intellectual workers remain in indi- 
vidual isolation; should they not centralize and or- 
ganize their scattered forces and become speculative 
in a cooperative way, the antagonism between labor 
and speculation will, of necessity, remain stationary. 
The final theoretical antagonism which can in some 
measure be overcome, namely, that between philoso- 
phy and the experimental sciences, between material- 
ism and idealism, is nothing but the theoretical ex- 
pression of the practical antagonism in social life. 
The same attitude that the master displayed toward 


the slave, the priest toward the uninitiated, and 
later, the feudal lord toward the serf, the clerical 
toward the secular, is finally assumed to-day by the 
capitalist toward the workingman, the phflosopher 
toward the investigator, namely, the attitude of the 
organized toward the unorganized and of the strong 
toward the weak. The people fall short in regard 
to the reconciliation of this antagonism. Such an 
attitude leads only to decomposition and death, and 
therefore Moses exclaimed to our people *^Ye shall 
be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy people."^ 

As industrial speculation, so philosophical specu- 
lation, is a historical necessity, and its existence is 
justified, as long as the productive labors and investi- 
gations are not centralized and organized, as long 
as they have not their own center of gravity and 
equilibrium. ^^Absolute" speculation represented, be- 
fore the revolutionary critical epoch, a governing, 
compelling force. After this period, it is only a con- 
trolling power, strange and hostile in its attitude 
toward material labor. The root of this antagonism, 
however, lies not in the malice of this or that class, 
but is inherent in the history of the development of 
the human race which, as long as it has not reached 
its aim, the age of maturity, must pass toward its 
goal through race and class struggles, just as the 
human individual, whQe in the midst of his mental 
development, is dominated by one-sided representa- 
tions and tendencies. 

In the course of human history, only one-sided 

s Exodus zlz, 6. 


moyements have arisen in social life, the influences of 
which have helped to engoader one-sided views, repre- 
sentations and conceptions. During the development 
of organic or social Ufe, there occurs always a divi- 
sion of labor among the various parts of the organ- 
isms which brings forth, along with the perfection 
of special functions, a certain narrowness and one- 
sidedness. In human life, this tendency often degen- 
erates into a kind of monomania, the effects of which 
are harmful to the human spirit. But when the per- 
fected organism of the historical races reaches its 
final stage of development, the various strivings of 
history will also reach their ultimate harmony in a 
perfected human society. Just as only after the com- 
pletion of the organic life-sphere, namely, after the 
creation of man, the Sabbath of Nature began, so 
will the historical Sabbath begin only after the com- 
pletion of the development of social life, after the 
creation of a harmonious social organization in 
which production and consumption will be in a state 
of equilibrium. We stand at present on the eve of 
the historical Sabbath. Our age is still the age of 
speculation. But speculation can, by its very nature, 
be the inheritance of only a minority. What, then, 
of the majority? 

Every life-sphere, which has reached the comple- 
tion of its development, insures the continuity of its 
existence, first, by means of reproduction, and, sec- 
ondly, by establishing an equilibrium between pro- 
duction and consumption. The social life-sphere 
also will enter upon its age of maturity from the 


moment when this point of view prevails in the social 
economic movement. Where this point of view is 
only shared by a few individuals, who utilize it for 
private purposes, the age is dominated by specula- 
tion. The essence of speculation consists in the ex- 
ploitation of the reproductive sources of social life 
for private purposes. 

Life in general is a producing and consuming 
activity. Science is universal economics which inves- 
tigates and determines the amount and degree of pro- 
duction and consumption in the various life-spheres 
and epochs. Physiology is the economics of the or- 
ganic life-sphere, and social economy is the physiol- 
ogy of Society. The latter science shows us that 
social life is still in its childhood epoch. Between 
the stage of embryonic life, through which Society 
had passed, and the stage of maturity and indepen- 
dence, upon which it will enter, there lies the gap 
which we can hardly bridge, namely, the revolution- 
ary critical epoch, which gave birth to modem Soci- 
ety, the period which made possible the independence 
of future social life from the past and laid the 
foundation of a creative Society. What revolution 
does for life, criticism accomplishes for ideas and 
views. It unfastens the chains of traditional repre- 
sentations which hold the present in the grip of the 
past, opens the way toward a new independent life, 
and, like revolution, considers itself independent of 
the creative being itself, which tradition has repre- 
sented as extra-mundane, as long as it has not redis- 
covered that creative being in the world itself. Most 


of our contemporaries continue to attack the external 
^absolute'' of tradition, but they do not discover the 
real ^^ Absolute," the creative center of all life, namely, 
the equilibrium and harmony of all spiritual forces. 
The few that have dared to make such a step were 
finally lost in speculation. 

Just as the new-bom babe is not entirely indepen- 
dent of its mother, as long as it is still being nour- 
ished by her, so social life cannot be considered eman- 
cipated until it has outgrown the nursing period. 
The philosophical and industrial forms of specula- 
tion onployed by spiritual and matericd capitalists 
and dominating the fields of scientific and industrial 
labor, are the two breasts which nourish our Society, 
and as a result, the child — Laboa — is stron^y 
bound to its mother — Capitai«, — ^the creative spirit 
is chained to the former traditional achievements; 
and finally, the new Society is made subject to its 
ancient ghost. It is, therefore, the task of the intel- 
lectual, as weQ as the industrial workers, to liberate 
themselves from the domination of speculation. Sci- 
entists and Socialists should work hand in hand for 
the last liberation of humanity, for the emancipation 
of all forms of labor from speculation. And their 
efforts will certainly be successful, for we see that 
scientists in Germany and industrial laborers in Eng- 
land are gradually approaching the goal. But in 
Germany, as well as in England, these efforts are 
isolated; the impulse to unite both tendencies, the 
scientific and the industrial, can come only from 
the land of modem revolution and centralization — 


France, on the one hand, and from the Jewish people 
on the other, the people which has, from the begin* 
ning of its history, had for its mission, the unity of 
different tendencies of social life into one center of 

If Spinoza laid the foundation for a definite recon- 
ciliation between the two typical antithetical expres- 
sions of the human genius which reached their culmi- 
nating point in the creations of the Greeks and the 
Jews, then it became the task of history after Spinoza 
to develop the seed which he had so¥m, into a definite 
reconciliation of all antagonism in the life of nations. 

German philosophy undoubtedly rendered a great 
service when it succeeded in overcoming, on the basis 
laid by Spinoza's conception of Jewish monotheism, 
the opposition of atheism to theism, which was ex- 
pressed so clearly by the revolutionary thinkers. 
But at the same time, this philosophy lacked a posi- 
tive foundation in life and experimental science, and 
as a result, it must have necessarily come into con- 
flict with the latter. The last form r.f antagonism, 
which is still to be reconciled, is not the one between 
Monotheism and Polytheism, as in antiquity, nor 
between Moslem Monism and Christian Dualism, as 
in the Mediaeval Ages, nor between Theism and Athe- 
ism, but between speculative philosophy and experi- 
mental science. The German scientists are called to 
the mission of reconciling this last form of antago- 
nism by work like Moleschott's, which will ultimately 
lead to the merging of science into philosophy and 
philosophy into science. It is in Germany, where 


experimental science will be emancipated by means 
of a cooperatiye activity on the part of the scien- 
tists, to gather all data collected in different fields 
and interpret them from a general point of view, so 
as to bring all the various parts into a harmonious, 
organic whole. 

y. The Last Race Rule 

The more perfect a people is in its own special 
calling, the more it appreciates the particular serv- 
ices of other peoples, and the more willingly it bor- 
rows from them the ideas, conceptions and inventions 
which are necessary to modern life. This tendency is 
especially noticeable in the German people and it cer- 
tainly does honor to the Grerman spirit. 

The Jewish nation, therefore, must not hesitate to 
follow France in all matters relating to the political 
and social regeneration of the nations, and especially 
in what concerns its own rebirth as a nation, on the 
one hand, and in everything which bears upon the 
revival of intellectual life in Crermany on the other. 
Only a stupid reaction, which is consciously or un- 
consciously swept along by its own alarm, can bear 
us malice when we sympathize with France in all mat- 
ters of a social, political nature, and yet try to 
absorb and assimilate everything good in German 
spiritual and intellectual life. 

The cause of national regeneration of oppressed 
peoples can expect no help aYid sympathy from Grer- 
many. The problem of regeneration, which dates not 
from the second restoration of the kingdom in 


France, but goes back to the French Revoluti 

the definite solution of which began in Europe o 

recently, with the outbreak of the Italian war, i 

received in Grermany with mockery and derision ; i 

in spite of the fact that the question is an urgent 

and is uppermost almost everywhere, even in G 

many itself, the Germans have named it the ^^Nati 

ality trick." Our Jewish democrats, also, disp 

their patriotism in accusing the French and the p 

pies sympathizing with them, of conquering desij 

The French, say the Grerman politicians, as well 

the allies, will only be exploited by the second M 

archj, for purposes of restraining liberty rat 

than promoting it. It is, therefore, according to 

deep logic of these politicians, the duty of the G 

man to be obedient to the Kaiser and the kings, 

order that they should be able to defeat the c 

quering desires of the French. These politicians i 

patriots forget, that if Grermany were to conq 

France and Italy to-day, it would only result 

placing the entire German people under police h 

and in depriving the Jews of their civil rights, i 

worse manner than after the ^^War of Liberatio 

when the only reward granted by the Grermans 

their Jewish brethren in arms was exclusion fi 

civil life. And, truly, the German people and 

Grerman Jews do not deserve any better lot w 

they allow themselves, in spite of the examples 

history, to be entrapped by Mediieval reaction. 

Scientific studies, together with my life exp 
ences, have matured my political sympathies 


France, especially after I learned to know the people. 
I have formulated my thoughts in the following sea- 
tences : 

Social life-tendencies are, like spiritual life-views, 
typical and primal race creations. The entire past 
history of humanity originally moved only in the 
circle of race and class struggle. The race struggle 
is the primal one, and the class struggle secondary. 
The last dominating race is the German. But, thanks 
to the French people, which succeeded not only in 
reconciling race antagonism in its own land, but also 
uprooted every form of race domination within the 
borders of France, the race struggle is nearing its 
end. And along with the cessation of race antago- 
nism, the class struggle will also come to a stand- 
still. The equalization of all classes of Society will 
necessarily follow the emancipation of the races, for 
it will ultimately become only a scientific question of 
social economics. 

Yet it seems that a final race struggle is unavoid- 
able, if the German politicians, failing to grasp the 
situation, do not attempt to oppose the tremendous 
current of reaction, which will ultimately involve 
Germany in a collision with the Romance nations, 
and will also entrap the progressive Gkrman demo- 
crats in the net of Romantic demagogy. Mediaeval 
reaction succeeded twice during the present century, 
once during the "War of Liberation," and for the 
second time, during the Italian war, in defeating the 
modem efforts of the German people for political 
and social regeneration, by inflaming the race domi- 


nance instincts in the hearts of the lords of war, who 
think themselves lords of the land by divine right, 
and consider the people as their rightly inherited 
slaves. It is not impossible, that in case of a war 
between Italy and Austria, German democracy will, 
for the third time, be engulfed by the whirl of reac- 
tion and join her in a war for race dominance, the 
results of which will be detrimental to progress. But 
out of the last race struggle, which Ferdinand Freili- 
grath has so vividly depicted in his vision ^^At the 
Birch Tree,'' there will arise no new domination of 
any race, and the equality of all world historical 
peoples will follow as a necessary result. 

VI. A Chapter of History 

Nations like individuals pass, in the course of their 
development, through certain definite life-periods. 
Not every age is adapted for every stage of develop- 
ment; but every age has its particular degree of 
progress. And if a people is belated in its develop- 
ment or has missed one of the stages, it will be very 
difficult for it to follow the harmonious march of 
nations toward progress. 

Grermany at the time of the Reformation, occupied 
a high position in the field of social and political 
development. Even the masses were permeated with 
the spirit of social-political reform, the like of which 
was seen only in England in the seventeenth century 
and in France in the eighteenth. The sixteenth cen- 
tury was the epoch of the German Renaissance. Ger- 
many, during that period, gave birth to a great re- 


form, but inasmuch as it did not succeed in becoming 
a truly national reform, it only divided the nation 
into two. The political-social revolution of the peas- 
ants, on the other hand, was finally drowned in their 
own blood. 

Had not the uprising of the peasants been shame- 
fully betrayed by the leaders of German culture and 
civilization, the development of the nation would, at 
that time, have already assumed a normal form, and 
not only would Grermany be the equal of the other 
civilized nations, but as the first-born modem nation, 
would have held the most prominent place among 

The might of the mediaeval ^^Grerman Sword'' would 
have been transformed into the nobler and higher 
force of the modem Grerman spirit. The nation which 
overthrew the world empire of Rome, in order to 
substitute for it the mediaeval feudal power, would 
have been the first to give the signal for the over- 
throw of its own institutions, the overthrow of the 
last form of race dominance. But Fate willed other- 
wise. The last chosen people, like the first, must 
atone for its sins before it is granted the privilege 
of leading its historical role, before it will be worthy 
to enter into the modem alliance of humanity, which 
is based on the equality of all historical nations. 

The external causes which brought about the nip- 
ping in the bud of the German revolution are well 
known. Charles the Fifth, who, at the time of the 
awakening of a national consciousness among the 
historical nations, strove to realize his dream of a 


world German-Roman empire, was one of the chief 
factors in causing the destruction of the popular 
revolution. This monarch missed his great opportu- 
nity to raise Grermany, by means of supporting social, 
political and religious reform, to the dignity of a 
useful modem State, to liberate it from the yoke of 
Feudalism and save it from disruption, and finally 
to create for himself a nation and to give to the 
people a real king, to create a modem monarchy 
which would support all the oppressed peoples and 
terrify the conquering mediaeval lords of war. But, 
through his wavering conduct, the contrary result 
occurred. The nobility could free themselves from 
the subjection to the Emperor, on the one hand, by 
joining with the new religious reform, and from the 
influence of the people, on the other, by suppressing 
the political social uprising; and consequently they 
followed this course of action. This antinational 
activity was furthered, not only by the contradictory 
policy of the German Emperor and the ambition of 
the nobles, but also by the political inability of the 
leader of the Reformation. Luther, with his doc- 
trinal stupidity, thought it more advantageous to 
join the nobility rather than the common people and 
finally betrayed the peasants, just as, even to-day, 
the German doctrinaires are always ready to betray 
the people whenever they attempt to take the demo- 
cratic movement seriously. And yet, in spite of all 
these difficulties, the German revolution would have 
triiunphed, had it not been for the fact that the 
cities, the seat of a social class, which had immediate 


interest in the downfall of Feudalism^ were too nar- 
row-minded and cowardly at heart to see the great 
importance of the peasant uprising and to struggle 
for their own liberation. Having been delivered into 
the hands of their enemies by their natural allies, 
denounced in shameful orations by the Grerman re- 
former, forsaken by the Emperor and butchered by 
the hereditary war lords, the German peasants were 
forced to abandon the revolution, along with which 
was also nipped in the bud the germ of Germany's 
regeneration. And from that moment, the German 
nations began to descend lower and lower in the scale 
of progress. Luther, who lacked no insight into 
human affairs, saw it and expressed himself sorrow- 
fully about it. 

The punishm^it for this great crime against the 
people on the part of the nobles and citizens came 
but too soon. In the Thirty Years' War, the Grer- 
man cities had to submit involuntarily to the sentence 
which they themselves, by their breaking away from 
the Grerman revolution, had thus pronounced. They 
could then see that 'Hhe history of the world is the 
world's Court of Justice," but they could not avert 
the fated doom. For at the time when the English 
revolution raised our proud neighbor to the height 
of culture and civilization and laid the foundation of 
its present world power, Germany was bleeding white 
through its civil and religious wars, and this process 
was repeated many times. Even the French Revo- 
lution, which taught all European nations to love 
and esteem liberty, brought to Germany only the 


shame of foreign ride and the still worse domination 
of the reaction, which since then settled so securely 
upon the back of the German people, that not even 
the revolutions of 1880 and 1848 could, in any way, 
overthrow it from its seat. And just as at the time 
of the first French Revolution, Grerman literature and 
]^iilo8ophy, which were then at their height, could 
not protect the ghost of a German empire from its 
fate, so are all our orators, writers and poets of 
to-day unable to revive the political corpse of Ger- 
many, the soul of which had departed long ago in 
the unfortunate peasant war. Great popular leaders 
and patriotic heroes do not descend from the skies, 
but grow out of the deep soil of the people and its 
history. When the latter is arrested in the midst of 
its flight toward pi^ogress, the political genius of the 
nation must necessarily be extinguished. 

And this is just what happened in Germany. At 
the time of the peasant war, Grermany possessed 
great statesmen, who united in their persons patriot- 
ism and modernity and were also aUe to train the 
people and implant in them the same traits. To-day 
these people lack the common soil and traditions 
necessary for development of statesmen of such 
stamp. All reminisc^ices of German greatness go 
back either to mediaeval times or further back to the 
primitive forests. The present German patriotism 
is reactionary and has no root in the life of the 
people. As long as it is impossible to realize the 
aim of a modem German movement, so long can 
there exist no modem German people. 


Without regeneration there can be no people, and 
without a people, in the modem sense of the word, 
there can be no modem patriotism. Present-day 
German patriotism, which expresses itself only in 
verbal protestations against our neighbors, while it 
has neither the courage nor the talent to occupy 
itself with the work of regeneration, is only an air 
bubble. Grermany does not suffer from the oppres- 
sion of a foreign yoke, nor is there any fear that it 
will suffer in the future, as the patriots would have 
us belieye, but it is ailing as a result of its murdered 
revolution; it can no more make the same move 
toward progress without the help of the other pro- 
gressive European nations. The Germans are too 
proud to join forces with those nations which suc- 
ceeded in liberating themselves from the Christian 
mediaeval spirit. Hence they will have to be sub- 
jected to a mediaeval reaction, which they did not 
know how to defeat at the right moment. 

The last opportunity, which offered us the eleva- 
tion of the Grerman people to the degree of a modem 
nation, namely, the "War of Liberation,"^ ended 
only in a victory for reaction; for the war against 
France was a war of reactionary Europe against the 
spirit of the French Revolution. And were Grer- 
many to go to war again with any nation, the same 
result would be repeated; a victory of the army 

t ^'Thc War of liberation," referred to by Hess, is the war 
of the year 1813-14^ wliich Germany, in conjunction with her 
allies^ Russia and Great Britain, waged against Napoleon.— 


would be a victory of reaction. So deeply have we 
sunk, that we are forced to hail a defeat of the army 
as a happy event in the history of the German peo- 
ple. Indeed, ^^the history of the world is the world's 
Court of Justice." We must atone now for the sins 
we committed in the sixteenth century. 

Who can foresee the catastrophes that may befall 
us as a result of our arrested development? Cer- 
tainly, we hope that the struggle of the German peo- 
ple will come to an end with the equalization of all 
oppressed peoples which struggle to attain the same 
aim. But by what means the goal will be reached, no 
one knows. What peaceful or warlike Grerman 
patriot dares to think about it? 

The age of race dominance is at an end. Even 
the smallest people, whether it belongs to the Ger- 
manic or Romance, Slavic or Finnic, Celtic or Semitic 
races, as soop as it advances its claims to a place 
among the historical nations, will iSnd sympathetic 
supporters in the powerful civilized Western nations. 
Like the patriots of other unfortunate nations, the 
Grerman patriots can attain their aim only by means 
of a friendly alliance with the progressive and power- 
ful nations of the world. But if they continue to 
conjure themselves, as well as the German people, 
with the might and glory of the ^^German Sword," 
they will only add to the old unpardonable mistakes, 
grave new ones; they will only play into the hands of 
the reaction, and drag all Germany along with them. 


Note I 

The Talmud, as well as the Midrash, ascribe the 
redemption of Israel from Egypt to the chastity of 
the Jewish women and their faithfulness to the Jew- 
ish nationality. It is especially emphasized that the 
Jews in Egypt retained their national names and 
language and did not adopt the names and language 
of the Egyptians and were thus more worthy of 
redemption than the exiles of later generations, when 
this form of assimilation was a frequent phenomenon. 
Witness the following passages :^ 

'^Our ancestors did not change their names in 
Egypt. Those who went down to Egypt went by the 
names of Reuben and Simeon, and their descendants, 
who left Egypt, have continued to bear the same 
names. Judah was not changed to Rufus, nor Reu- 
ben to Lulianus nor Joseph to Lustus nor Benjamin 
to Alexander." 

Even our greatest prophet and lawgiver, Moses, is 
severely blamed for his posing before the daughters 
of Jethro as an Egyptian, and not as a Hebrew. 
And because of that, the Midrash asserts, God re- 
fused his plea to be buried in the Holy Land; while 
Joseph, who never denied his descent, was rewarded 
by being carried to the Holy Land and buried there. 

1 Midrash Rabba» Numbers, Ch. 90, also Canticles, C3i. 4^ 
Leyiticus, Ch. 39. 


288 NOTES 

Said Motes to God: '^Loid of the world, the bones 
of Joseph were interred in the Holy Land; why dost 
thoa not grant me the same priidlege?'' Said the 
Holy One, Uessed be He: ^Tlie one who acknowl- 
edged his land deserved to rest there, bat the one 
who denied it will not be interred in her sacred soil. 
Whence do we know that Josq[^ acknowledged his 
land? We know it from the following: When his 
mistress complained of Joseph to her husband in the 
words ^diold he has brou^t here a Hebrew to 
mock at us,' Joseph did not deny that he was a 
Hebrew but affirmed it and, when brought before 
Pharaoh, he proudly exclaimed: ^I was stolen from 
the land of the Hebrews.' He was therefore buried 
in his own land. But thou, who didst deny thy land, 
wilt not be buried in thy land ; for when the daugh- 
ters of Jethro said, ^^An Egyptian saved. us from 
the hands of the shepherds," thou didst hear it and 
wast silent and therefore thou wilt not be buried in 
thy land.^ 

Note H 

The extra-mundane point of support which the 
Jewish historical religion has in common with the 
Natural Religion of the Hindus, is the point of con- 
tact between the Jewish and the Pagan, the Semitic 
and the Indo-Germanic world views, the germ out of 
which the mediaeval Christian and the modern scien- 
tific views of life have grown. Here, in this punctum 

s Midrash Rabba Deuteronomy^ Ch. 9. 

NOTES 287 

.idliens^ there meet the two great mental expressions 
of the two great historical races. Both recognized 
and expressed clearly in their oldest literary docu- 
ments, that the ordinary relations of life become 
cumbersome to man as soon as his spirit awakens in 
him, and that holiness then becomes a necessary con- 
dition of salvation. Both dreamed of a golden age 
in the distant past, of a Paradise lost which, how- 
ever, they hope that man will once more regain. But 
in human life there goes on a continuous struggle 
between the elementary demands and the human ten- 
dencies which contain the germ of the harmonious 
unity of life, the goal of the history of humanity. 
To help the human spirit in its struggle, both relig- 
ions preach restraint from the pleasures of life, 
which bring only death and misery in their wake, as 
a means to attain holiness and salvation. But there 
is a difference in their preaching, and this difference 
espresses the essential separation of the two world 
views. The ascetic tendency of the Indo-Germanic 
race, the contemplative character of which has never 
spurred it on to an active life, finally expressed itself 
in a complete renunciation and negation of life (viz.: 
Brahmanism and Buddhism). The Jews, on the 
other hand, from the beginning of their history and 
throughout the storms of their exile, have clung fast 
to their mission, namely, tp bring about the sanctifi- 
cation, not only of individual life, but also of the 
social life of Man, to further its development and to 
prepare humanity for the Messianic time which will 
be an age of perfected development and holiness. 

288 NOTES 

The spirit of Hindu wisdom found its best and 
purest expression in the writings of a pure-blooded 
German, Schopenhatier, whose works ought to form 
a part of the moital equipment of every educated 
man. Schopenhauer represents, within the Christian- 
German world, the most decided contrasting tendency 
to the teachings of Hegel. The latter allowed the 
historical, the genetic view of the world, the Jewish 
view, to be the generating point of the spirit and 
thus raised the concrete Jewish historical religion to 
the heights of an abstract spiritual philosophy. 
Schopenhauer, on the other hand, negates historical 
religion completely, and along with it, historical de- 
velopment, nay, even life itself in all its forms, ideal 
as w^ as real. This destructive nihilism, which is an 
original trait of the Indo-Germanic race, and from 
the beginning found its clearest expression in India, 
gradually undermined the entire structure of Natural 
Religion and finally brought about its comjdete dis- 
solution. Only the genetic view of life, that of Juda- 
ism, which incorporated a partial negation of the 
natural world, without at the same time minimizing 
the value of the creative human factor in history, 
was able to enrich the world with a more confident 
and self-rdiant conception which pieced together the 
fragments of a tottering world and united them once 
more into an integral world by means of the hope 
for a future regeneration. 

If we agree with Schopenhauer that the creative 
being is only an elemeiitary natural force and not 
the creative genius of all historical development in 

NOTES 289 

Nature as well as in History, we must also accept 
the world as a product of self-contradictory and 
self-destructive forces, the striving of which, ex- 
pressed in Schopenhauer's formula, "The will to 
live", is without aim and purpose, and offers no sat- 
isfaction to the moral and intellectual man. Only 
historical religion, which sees in the struggle of nat- 
ural forces, as in that of individuals and nations, 
only stages of development, and which carries within 
itself the confidence of the final victory of the Divine 
Power, needs not negate life in order to reach its 
sanctification. And even the very sanctity of life, 
which Hinduism preaches, is, in its content, only a 
contemplative egoism which is of little use to human- 
ity. Every striving toward a better state of exist- 
ence, whether it be an ideal or a real one, in this 
world or in the next, appears to this contemplative 
egoism as pure silliness. Striving is conceived by it 
as an attempt to perpetuate the raw elementary 
strug^e, the helium ommwm contra (yrnnesy the war 
of all against all. This anti-genetic view manifests 
itself in all social movements as a conservative or re- 
actionary force. Schopenhauer himself, as is known, 
turned over his capital to a Berlin Society, the pur- 
pose of which was to carry on a campaign against 
the champions of the people. His endorsement of 
Christianity applies only to its negative phase, in 
which lies its essential difference from Judaism, 
namely, its disparagement of the present life, but 
does not include its positive side, the exaltation of 
regeneration, by means of which Christianity con- 

240 NOTES 

verted the pagan world to the Jewish religious point 
of view and thus reconciled it with life. 

We do not, however, want to deny the fact that 
contrary results have often occurred. The holders 
of the contemplative view, who have sometimes gone 
so far as to negate the very will to live, have at times 
been able to create great artistic works and also to 
enjoy them, while those who have followed the "King- 
dom of Heaven", namely, the mission to organize 
social life on the divine plan, have by no means had 
their way strewn with roses. 

Note III 

In 1858, there appeared, at Leipzig, a work writ- 
ten by Otto Wigand under the title Tv?o discourses 
concerning the desertion from Judaism^ being an 
analysis of the views on this question expressed in the 
recently published correspondence of Dr. Abraham 
Greiger. The author endeavors to prove that the con- 
clusions of Dr. Geiger are untenable both from a 
philosophic and from a social standpoint. Here are 
his social arguments: 

"My friend," says the author, "there are certain 
conclusions which you cannot escape. The stamp of 
slavery, if we may use this expression, which cen- 
turies of oppression have deeply impressed upon the 
Jewish features, might have been obliterated by the 
blessed hand of regained civil liberty. The gait of 
the Jews, buoyed up by the happy reminiscences of 
the victory won in the struggle for the noble posses- 
sion of liberty, might have been straighter and 

NOTES 241 

prouder. The Jewish face may certainly beam with 
pride, as it views the tremendous progress made by 
the Jews in a brief time, their mighty flight to the 
spiritual height upon which they now stand, which 
is especially notable considering the fact that their 
poets and writers at whose greatness the nation is 
astonished, and of whose talents the entire people 
takes account, have sprung from those who, a gen- 
eration ago, could hardly converse correctly in the 
language of the land. Such a state of affairs should 
undoubtedly call forth admiration in the hearts of 
the present Grerman generation, and yet, in spite of 
these achievements, the wall separating Jew and 
Christian still stands unshattered, for the watchman 
that guards them is one who will not be caught nap- 
ping. It is the race difference between the Jewish 
and Christian populations. If this assertion of mine 
surprises or astonishes you, I ask you to consider 
whether it is not almost a rule with the Germans that 
race differences generate prejudices which cannot be 
overcome by any manifestation of good-will on the 
part of the other race. The relations existing be- 
tween the German and the Slavic populations in 
Bohemia, in Hungary and Transylvania, between 
the Grermans and the Danes in Schleswig, or between 
the Irish and the Anglo-Saxon settlers in Ireland, 
illustrates well the power of race antagonism in the 
Grerman world. In all these countries the different 
elements of the population have lived side by side 
for centuries, sharing equally all political rights, and 
yet, so strong are the national or racial differences, 

242 NOTES 

that a social amalgamation of the various elements 
of the population is even at the present day quite 
unthinkable. And what comparison is there between 
the race differences of a Gkrman and Slay, a Celt and 
Anglo-Saxon, or a German and Dane, and the race 
antagonism between the children of the sons of Jacob, 
who are of Asiatic descent, and the descendants of 
Teut and Herman, the ancestors of whom have inhab- 
ited Europe from time immemorial; between the 
proud and the tall blond German and the small of 
iBgure, black-haired and black-eyed Jew? Races 
which differ in such a degree oppose each other in- 
stinctively and against such opposition reason and 
good sense are powerless." 

These expressions are certainly frank and sincere 
in their meaning, though they by no means prove the 
conclusions to which the author wishes to arrive, 
namely, the desirability of conversion; for conver- 
sion will not turn a Jew into a German. But they 
at least contain the confession, that an instinctive 
race antagonism triumphs in Germany above all hu- 
manitarian sentiments. The ^^pure human nature" 
resolves itself, according to the? Grermans, in the 
nature of pure Germanism. The ^^high-bom Uond 
race" looks with contempt upon the regeneration of 
the '^black-haired, quick-moving mannikins," without 
regard to whether tiiey are descendants of the Bib- 
lical patriarchs, or of the ancient Romans and Gauls. 

While other civilized western nations mention the 
shameful oppression to which the Jews were formerly 
subjected, only as an act of theirs of which they are 

NOTES 248 

ashamed, the German remembers only the ^^stamp of 
slavery" which he impressed upon *Hhe Jewish phy* 

In a feuiUeton which appeared recently in the 
Bormerzeitung^ entitled ^^Bonn Eighty Years Ago," 
the author speaks of the Jews in mocking terms and 
describes them as people who lived in separate quar- 
ters and supported themselves by petty trades. I 
bdieve that we should wonder less at the fact that 
the Jews, who were forbidden to participate in the 
important branches of industry and commerce, lived 
on petty trade, than at the fact that they were able 
to live at all in those centuries of oppression. As a 
matter of fact, almost every means of existence, in- 
cluding the right of domicile, was denied them. It 
was only by means of bribes that every Jewish gen- 
eration could procure anew the ^^privilege" not to be 
driven out of their homes in Bonn, and they felt 
happy indeed if, in spite of the contract, they were 
not robbed of their property and exiled, or attacked 
by a fanatical mob in the bargain. I, also, can tell 
a story of ^'eighty years ago." A Jew won the high 
favor of the Eurfuerst of Bonn, that he and his 
descendants were granted the ^^privilege" to settle 
in Ebendich.^ 

Note IV 

Gabriel Riesser, the editor of the magazine. The 
Jew, as far as I can recollect, never fell into the 
error, common to all modem German Jews, that the 

lEbendich is a Tillage near BoniL 

244 NOTES 

emancipation of the Jews is irreconcilable with the 
development of Jewish Nationalism. He demanded 
emancipation for the Jews on the one condition only, 
that of their receiving all civil and political rights 
in return for their asswning all civil and political 

Suppose we assume that the Jews had not only 
a national religion, but a real nationality, a land and 
a State, and that, as happens with all other nations, 
a number of this sovereign State were to settle in 
foreign countries, such as England, France or other 
countries, and to live there for centuries, would those 
countries deny them the right of naturalization if 
they, in return for civil and political rights under- 
took to discharge all duties and bear all the burdens 
of the State? Is it not sufficient for a person to be 
bom in a country, or even to prove that he has lived 
in a country for a number of years, to be entitled 
to citizenship after the expiration of a certain time? 
In countries which stand at present at the height 
of civilization, this is an accepted fact, but not in 
Grermany. Here, the Jew, who has lived in the land 
for centuries, must first deny his race, his descent, 
his traditional memories, his type and temperament, 
nay, even his very character, in order to prove him- 
self worthy to live among a people which will not 
contribute anything to modem civil and political life, 
unless it overcomes its inherited race prejudices. The 
Jews, on the other hand, have never been dominated 
by prejudice nor actuated by the desire of race 
mastery. The fundamental law of the Mosaic polity 

NOTES 245 

enunciates explicitly the equality of all inhamtants 
of the land of Israel, without regard as to whether 
they are Jews or foreigners. 

Note V 


At the time of Mendelssohn's activity in Grermany, 
there lived in Poland a man by the name of Israel 
Bal Shem. He, like Mendelssohn, had dreamed very 
little that he would some day become the founder of 
a sect. And yet, just as in spite of his personal 
wishes, Mendelssohn was proclaimed the originator 
of the Reform movement, so it was through Israd 
Bal Shem that the Chasidic sect of th^ Slavic coun- 
tries was called into life. The word charid^ in its 
literal meaning, is the appellation given to every 
pious Jew and connotes, unlike the word ^^pietist" 
in Protestant Christianity, no secondary meaning. 
There have been Chasidim among the Jews at all 
times, just as there were long before the so-called 
Bal Shem, Jews who devoted themsdves to the mys- 
tic teachings of the Kabbala and who were said to 
perform miracles by means of practical Kabbala. 
But there were also, on the other hand, in former 
generations, Jews who participated in the culture of 
the land where they dwelt, in the same measure as 
the Jews of Germany since Mendelssohn have par- 
ticipated in Grerman culture, and yet they, unlike 
the latter, did not call themselves reformers. There- 
fore, if Rationalism among the German Jews, on the 
one hand, and Chasidism among the Slavonian Jews 
on the other, did call forth a grave schism among 

246 NOTES 

the Jews of those countries, the causes for it lie not 
in the nature of the tendencies themselves but in the 
peculiar condition of the ages of their birth. Espe- 
cially is this true of Slavonic lands, where the spirit 
of the times had not penetrated the consciousness of 
the masses. 

The Chasidim, like the Jewish Essenes in the last 
period of antiquity, and like the Christian pietists 
at the end of the Middle Ages, represent a tendency 
which emphasizes more the inner essence of religion 
than the mere external performance of its precepts. 
The ChasicUm do not observe pedantically all the 
minutiae of Jewish law, though they do not doiy nor 
question in the least, the authority of both the writ- 
ten and the oral law; but they bdieve that both the 
written and the oral law are an expression of the 
spirit, and that in this consists their real value. Not 
the form, but the spirit which created it, is for them 
the holy and the sacred. And yet they are not less 
ascetical than other pious Jews but observe strictly 
all the laws of morality and purity. Their answer 
to the rabbis who accuse them of transgressing cer- 
tain laws and precepts is ^*We are not subjected to 
the Midatk hadifiy i.e., Grod's strict measure of judg- 
ment, but to the Midath harachamimf i.e., BQs meas- 
ure of grace and mercy. The philosophical aspect 
of Chasidism, from the point of view of theoretical 
Kabbala, is developed by Rabbi Samuel of Wilna in 
his book, the Tanya, The disciples of this philoso- 
pher call thonselves Chdbad (a word that is formed 
from the initials of three Hebrew words, Chokmah — 

NOTES 247 

wisdom, Bma — treason, and Daath — ^knowledge. This 
sect is widely scattered among the Jews and is even 
represented in Jerusalem. 

As regards the form which Chasidism assumed 
among the Jewish masses of Poland and other Sla- 
vonic countries, as well as in Hungary, it is undoubt- 
edly not free from gross superstitions; yet the crit- 
ics, who ri^tly combat this degenerating tendency 
of Chasidism do not, after all, seem to conceive the 
proper essence nor the historical importance of 
Chasidism. The rabbis,, as well as the Rationalists, 
have attempted to declare Chasidism a heresy; but 
their arrows of excommunication had as little effect 
as the criticism of the Rationalists, against a spir- 
itual tendency which was, like Reform, the product 
of the age, and, though of an unconscious nature, 
and perhaps because of that^ of great importance. 
The Reform movement in Germany rose only after 
modem life had completely undermined mediaeval 
Judaism and closed up its life source. It could, 
therefore, only utilize the remnants of a Judaism 
torn away from its main trunk, as timber or orna- 
ments for its essentially non-Jewish temple. Chasid- 
ism, on the other hand, built its house and developed 
within the folds of the living spirit of a Judaism 
which was influenced, more instinctively than con- 
sciously, by the spirit of modem times, and thus 
formed a transition from media&val Judaism to a 
regenerated Judaism, which is still to be conceived as 
being in the process of development. The great good 
which will result from a combination of Chasidism 

248 NOTES 

with the national movement is almost incalculable. 
Chasidism makes great gains in the great Jewish 
centers of the East. Even the rabbis, who heretofore 
have declared Chasidism a heresy, are beginning to 
understand that there are only two altematives for 
the great Jewish masses of Eastern Europe; either 
to be absorbed along with the reformers, by the 
gradually penetrating external culture, or to avert 
this catastrophe by an inner regeneration of which 
Chasidism is certainly a forerunner. 

Although the Chasidim are without social organi- 
zation, they live in socialistic fashion. The house 
of the rich man is always open to the poor and the 
latter is as much at home there as he is in his own 
house. They seem to have taken as their motto the 
saying in Aboth: ^^He who says what is mine is thine 
and what is thine is thine is a saint"^ (Aboth, v:18). 
A sect which practises such self-abnegation and 
whose members are capable of great religious enthu- 
siasm must have for its foundation something more 
than mere crudeness and ignorance.^ 

1 According to the Mishnah in Aboth, there are fqur pdnts 
of view as regards ''Mine" and "Thine." The first has already 
been discussed by us in the tliird letter. It is the ordinary 
bourgeois rule of conduct, namely, ''Everyone for himself." 
The second is that of the booiv-^the Am Haar^tz, who would 
share the riches of the wealthy and give him in excliange his 
own meager share, changing places with him, so to speak. 
The third is tlie view of the ChaM who says, "mine is thine," 
without desiring anything in return. The fourth is the attitude 
of the wicked w1k> desires the property of others without 
giving anything in return. 

s Hess's estimate of the CSiasidim and Chasidism is exagger- 
ated. Chasidism does not represent a great spiritual rev^u- 

NOTES 249 

Note VI 

The Greeks had sanctified and worshiped Nature 
in their religious cult only in its finished and har- 
monious form, but not in its creative and becoming 
aspect. Man, also, had been deified in the Grecian 
world only as a complete organization, as a being 
who stands at the height of organic life, but not as 
the representatiye of a new life sphere; not as a 
moral and social being, who is to be looked upon as 
in the midst of becoming and developing, as is the 
case with Christianity, the descendant of the his- 
torical religion of Judaism. The Jews, on the other 

tion in the Ustoiy of Judaism, as some assert, nor was it a fore- 
nmner of the great imier regeneration, as Hess would have us 
believe. Its latest development certainly does not entitle it to 
that exalted position. Only one or two of its leaders have risen 
to a philosophic conception of Judaism. Equally exaggerated is 
the attribution to the Chaddim of an anti-leg^ tendency and 
the supplying of it with philosophic reasons. On the con- 
trary, the great majority of the Chasidim are more careful 
observers of all the minutiae of the law than their opponents. 
It is true that law-breakers were found among the leaders of 
the Chasidim, especially in the early days of the sect, but their 
reason for law-breaking was of more material nature than tiie 
philosophic distinction between kernel and husk, though they 
certainly endeavored to reduce their transgressions to a re- 
ligious system. But to take them seriously and to charge 
their actions to the account of Cliasidism, is pure exaggeration. 
Hess, however, knew very little about the Chasidim and derived 
his information from books, and was thus often grossly mis- 
informed. He attributes the founding of the Ckabad to one^ 
Samuel of Wilna, a totally unlmown personality, when it is 
well known that the founder was Shneor Zalman of Ladie who 
was also the author of the Tonya. Wilna, on the other hand, 
was the fortress of opposition to Chasidisni.—- Trantlafor. 

260 NOTES 

hand, had turned the tables, deifying the becominff; 
worshiping the Grod whose very name expresses past, 
present and future. Even the cosmic and organic 
life spheres, which are already completed in this uni- 
versal epoch, are not considered by the Bible as 
eternal and unchangeable, but viewed from the cre- 
ative standpoint. The Bible begins with the creation 
of the world and the declaration of the natural Sab- 
bath, but the prophets have gone further and com- 
pleted the process, embracing as they did the eitire 
history of human development and foreseeing the 
final historical Sabbath. The tendency to view Grod 
in history, not only in the history of humanity, but 
also in the history of the cosmic and organic world, 
is an essential expression of the Jewish spirit. This 
striving after the recognition of Grod is developed 
in historical studies, through observation of histori- 
cal facts; but in nature-study, it posits a certain 
mental direction as a starting-point, one that is to- 
tally unknown to modem scientists. Goethe and 
Humboldt were utterly opposed to the tendency of 
spiritualizing Nature, which is so closely united with 
the Jewish 6od-idea. 

The Greeks sanctified the totality of Nature, in- 
cluding man as a complete product ; the Jews sanc- 
tified the totality of history, including that of the 
organic and cosmic life; and the Christian deified 
and sanctified the individual. Individuality had thus 
found its complete expression through Christian 
apotheosis. Such a view does man both justice and 
injustice; for in order to ddineate the rights of the 

NOTES 261 

indiyidual, man must be conceiyed abstractly and 
not as he really exists, united with Nature and his- 
tory, family and country. The fall of the ancient 
world and the entry of tiie Germanic race upon the 
arena of history have brought about both the 
strengthening of individuality and its one-sidedness, 
which to-day is undermining indiyiduality, but true 
personality will rise again when individualism will be 
united with other higher tendencies. The realization 
of this higher unity can be made possible only by 
viewing the Jewish historical religion in a scientific 
manner. The religion which will be raised to a sci- 
ence is none other than the Bible religion, which 
preaches the genesis and the unity of cosmic, or- 
ganic and social life, and to the development and 
spread of which, the genius of the Jews after their 
regeneration as an independent nation, will be de- 

Note VIl 

At the boundary line of time, which led from the 
natural, organic life of the prehistoric races to the 
social life of the historical nations, the first, accord- 
ing to the story of the Book of Genesis, were doomed 
to destruction with the rather unintelligible words, 
^'My spirit will not dwell forever in man becatise he 
is fiesh." Everything which is generated must event- 
ually disappear. Nothing in existence persists eter- 
nally, neither an atom nor an entire planet, neither 
the germ out of which whole generations had devel- 
oped, nor the highest being of the earth, man, ^^be- 

252 NOTES 

cause he is flesh" and must therefore follow the way 
of all fleshy namely, death and dissolution. 

All nations of antiquity had their legends about 
the final catastrophe of all organic life. But it was 
left to our Jewish genetic view, which had penetrated 
deeply into the very essence of the created world, to 
conceive "being" as "becoming," a conception which 
reconciles the antithesis of life and death, and sees 
reality as an everlasting succession of birth and 

The anti-genetic, pagan view of the world, which 
taught the eternity of being, has avoided, whenever 
possible, the question of becoming. But modem sci- 
ence has forced this old view to withdraw from its 
position. The phenomenon of the rise and decay of 
individual entities — and all temporal-spatial exist- 
ence is individual, namely, limited— looms so largely 
in the whole organic life-sphere, that the pagan view 
of the eternity of being long ago recognized its dan- 
gerous position and sought refuge in the theory of 
the pre-existence of the germs or atoms. 

[Note — ^What follows is too abstruse to reproduce 
in its entirety. We will therefore only give the gist 
of Hess's arguments, omitting the scientific proofs.] 

Hess attempts to disprove first the theory of the 
preexistence of the germ, by asserting that the germ 
itself is being regenerated through the process of 
metabolism and so is the body constantly rebuilt 
after its full development and full growth by the 
process of continual cell formation. The germ, 
therefore, is not a fixed preexist^it thing, but only 

NOTES 258 

a stage in the flowing process of life. This process 
runs in a cycle, embracing also the phenomenon 
which is apparently the opposite of life, namely, 
death. But in reality, death is only a step in the 
great process of life ; for every new formation of life 
is preceded by the dissolution of its preceding form. 

Moreover, not only are germs fixed and themselves 
generated from organic matter, but they are even 
sometimes formed from inorganic matter. And this 
was certainly the case at the beginning of the devel- 
opment of the life-sphere. Cases of spontaneous gen- 
eration, i.e., cases where life springs up anew without 
a preceding life, occur often. He quotes a number 
of experiments and testimonies of travelers to cor- 
roborate his view. Hess, as a philosophic creationist, 
who sees in life as well as in other spheres of the 
universe new combinations, cannot adopt the Dar- 
winian view which applies rather a mechanical expla- 
nation to the origin of species. He combats this 
view and believes that the species are constant and 
do not pass into one another by mutation, but new 
species arise in a spontaneous manner through the 
mediation of existing species. 

The third point which Hess endeavors to establish 
is the perishability of atoms. He attempts to dis- 
prove the doctrine of the eternity of atoms and main- 
tains that cosmic matter, in the form of cosmic atoms, 
came into being out of rarified space by a creative 
act. For proofs of his cosmic theory he refers to 
his articles on the subject in the scientific niagazines. 
Century and Natur, Thus Hess endeavors to estab- 

254 NOTES 

lish his genetic philosophy by a peculiar scientific 
system. He lays special emphasis on the law of con- 
servation of energy and sees in it a corroboration of 
the Jewish idea of the oneness and uniqueness of the 
creative being. He applies this law to the social 
world. An exact Social Science does not as yet 
exist. Science has hitherto had for its object only 
Nature, namely, the cosmic and organic life-spheres. 
The reason for it is that the possible object of a 
Social Science, namely, the social world, is still in the 
process of becoming, but science deals with objective 
and concrete things. And this is the reason that sci- 
ence has little to do with religion; for religion, as 
well as morality, is a product of social life. The 
adoption of the Jewish idea of the unity of life by 
science will be accomplished in the following manner: 
Science will, on the one hand, abandon the pagan con- 
ception of the eternity of matter or atoms, and, on 
the other hand, will purge the idea of unity from its 
anthropomorphic elements with which the racial 
genius had endowed it, and which prevented it from 
deeply influencing the social, human life. It is only 
after the complete development of the human and 
social life that science will perform its proper func- 
tion and vindicate its utility. 

Note VHI 

Luzzato expresses himself quite frankly concern- 
ing the sacrificial cult ; he assigns to it a pre-Mosaic 
origin. The word Kadosh — ^holy, which is undoubt- 

NOTES 865 

edly older than the Mosaic law, is derived, according 
to him, from the words Yekod e$h — ^tximed by fire, 
referring to the ancient usage of burning all sacri- 
fices. Luzzato speaks with authority. According to 
him, the sacrificial cult described in the Bible was a 
concession made by Moses to the popular beliefs of 
the children of Israel, in order to forestall a rever- 
sion to paganism. It had also another purpose, 
namely, to strengthen the unity of the people, by 
compelling them to bring their sacrifices to one place, 
the Temple at Jerusalem. It had likewise a charit- 
able aim in view when it prescribed that every volun- 
tary offering must be immediately consumed, for thus 
it often happened that the poor were invited to the 
sacrificial feast. Just as with the paschal lamb, so 
it was with many free-will offerings; almost every 
head of a family brought an offering at least otice 
a year; and thus the sacrificial cult really formed 
the basis of Jewish solidarity which is so practically 
expressed in the saying: *^A11 Jews are responsible 
for one another." 

Maimonides goes still further, and sees in the limi- 
tation of the sacrificial cult to one place a tendency 
to restrain its practise. He, like other thinkers, con- 
siders the sacrificial cult a concession to pagan forms 
of worship, but he emphasizes the fact that the pur- 
pose of Moses was to displace, by means of the sac- 
rificial ceremonies, the practise of human sacrifices, 
which was widespread among the nations of the East. 
A similar explanation is offered by Abarbanel in his 
commentary to Exodus, namdy, that the sacrifice of 

256 NOTES 

the paschal lamb was instituted to divert the people 
from the worship of the Egyptian god Ammon, who 
was represented as having a lamb's head. 

It is certain that the practise of human sacrifices, 
which was common to all nations of antiquity, was 
displaced only after great effort, by the gradual 
spread of the institution of animal sacrifices. The 
history of antiquity, Biblical as well as pagan, proves 
this assertion. The story of the trial of Abraham, 
where the angel, immediately after refusing to accept 
the sacrifice of Isaac, substitutes the animal in his 
place, reflects this tendency. A similar meaning is 
to be seen in the story of Euripides, where Artemis 
had taken Iphigenia from the sacrificial stall, a deer 
was found in her place. But custom dies hard, and 
long after it ceases to exist, traces of it still survive. 
Such traces of human sacrifice we find both in the 
Old Testament^ and in Grecian legend. Iphigenia 
herself, after she escapes from Aulis, reappears on 
Mount Tauris as a Priestess of Artemis and is by her 
commanded to sacrifice every Greek appearing on 
the mountain. More widely spread and more deeply 
rooted in the life of the people than among the pre- 
biblical kinsmen of the Jews and the Greeks, were 
human sacrifices among the other nations of anti- 
quity. In India, in Egypt, in ancient Germany, as 
well as among the Semitic nations, human sacrifices 
had been widely practised. The Franks, who accom- 
panied King Theudobert on his march into Italy, sac- 

1 Cf. II Kings iii, 27, the story of the sacrifice by Mesha, the 
Moabite King, of Ids eldest son. — Tramlator. 

NOTES 267 

rificed the women and children of captive Goths, 
throwing the first-fruits of their victory into the 
Po.^ The view that a human sacrifice was required 
in order to propitiate the wrath of God, persisted 
even in the Christian world, which looks upon the 
Crucifixion of Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement. 
Echoes of this conception, though not as gross, we 
find also in the Zohar, where it is said: '^The inno- 
cent sometimes serves as an offering to atone for the 
sins of others, and therefore do the pious suffer to 
atone for the sins of the world."^ The slaughter of 
a rooster for each male member of the family and of 
a hen for each female member, on the eve of the Day 
of Atonement, is a survival of the former substitu- 
tion of animal sacrifices in the place of man, as the 
accompanying prayer indicates: ^^May this animal 
be my atonement and substitute. May it go to death 
and I to a long and peaceful life." Just as animal 
sacrifices had formerly taken the place of human sac- 
rifices, so have the former in turn been displaced by 
prayers. The prophets and other sacred writers of 
Israel urged the substitution persistently.* A re- 
lapse in case of Jewish restoration of the Jewish cult 
into its former usage of sacrifices is therefore no 
more possible than a similar relapse from animal to 
human sacrifices was possible in former times. But 
a stationary stage in the Jewish cult in the future is 

2 Procob. Bell. Goth. lib. II, Chap. 95. 
s Zohar, Part I, p. 60, section Voah. 

4 See, among other passages, Hosea vi, 6; ziv, 4; Micah 
▼i, 6-8; Isaiah 1, 11; Ixvi, 1. 

208 NOTES 

likewise unthinkable* The Jewish religion will be 
regenerated along with the people. 

Note IX 

Colonization movements, as we well know, do not 
arise merely from mere enthusiasm for a certain idea, 
but arise primarily, through the definite demands of 
life. They originate mostly in small countries, 
where the struggle for existence is very hard and are 
directed toward such places where opportunities for 
making a living are abundant. Colonization, being 
a kind of mass-migration under the protection of the 
law, endeavors to seek for labor a better soil and 
more extensive rights. If the Jews, with the help of 
France, should originate a mass-migration of their 
oppressed brethren into the Orient, it will take place 
only because the Jewish colonists will find a better 
field for gaining a livelihood, and Jewish labor re- 
ceive at least as much legal protection as it enjoys 
in the Occident. It is to be asked, therefore, whether 
these fundamental conditions necessary for a Jewish 
settlement in the Orient already exist there. At 
present, this is not the case. Nor can we speak as 
yet of a Jewish mass-migration to the Holy Land. 
But a great vista of possibilities will be opened in 
the Orient in the near future, by means of the civili- 
zation which once proceeded from there. As a result 
of the rapidly-spreading lines of communication, geo- 
graphical distance, and with it the difference between 
Occidental civilization and Oriental barbarism, are 

NOTES 269 

quickly disappearing. Civilization which, during the 
greater part of the historical development of human- 
ity proceeded from East to West, has begun, since 
the French Revolution, its backward march over the 
globe. Even in geographical relations there has en- 
tered a transformation in the movement of Ufe; the 
closed circular movement took the place of the cen- 
tripetal movements toward progress on the one hand, 
and toward its opposite, degeneration, on the other. 
The geographical center of culture, which relapsed 
for centuries in a death-like rigidity, after it had 
given the world the light of the spirit which was first 
kindled there, will again be restored to life and influ- 
ence. The French tricolor already flutters proudly 
in Egypt and Syria, and the appellation applied by 
the French poet to the Syrian expedition is no longer 
a mere poetical expression, but a prophetic utter- 

Napoleon the First, who had undertaken an expe- 
dition into Egypt and the Saint Simonists group, 
one of which is at present at the head of the Suez 
enterprise, have already recognized how important 
it is for France to civflize the Orient. The French 
wars in the Crimea and Italy were only preparations 
for the solution of the Oriental problem. This solu- 
tion consists in the reconciliation of Occidental cul- 
ture with that of the Oriental Semites who until now 
have formed a historical typical contrast to the Indo- 
Germans. Ernest Renan has clearly described this 
contrast, but he has also emphasized the fact that 
the Semites possess the ability to awaken once more 

260 NOTES 

from spiritual death into a new life in a much higher 
degree than the Indo-Grermans. 

After the work on the Suez Canal is completed the 
interests of world commerce will undoubtedly demand 
the establishment of depots and settlements along 
the road to India and China, settlements of such a 
character as will transform the neglected and an- 
archic state of the countries lying along this road 
into legal and cultivated States. This can occur only 
under the military protection of the European pow- 
ers. Sagacious French diplomacy has always planned 
to annex the Orient to the precincts of culture. Un- 
doubtedly, envy, which has caused the French to 
oppose the liberation of Italy, will also effect the 
French Oriental political policy with desires for con- 
quest and domination. The French have learned, 
since their great Revolution, to overcome the dualism 
of the Material and Ideal in social life, as the work 
from which I have quoted indicates. The Material in 
that plan does not exclude the Ideal, and the latter is 
not a mere dream but has a Material basis. The one 
who appeals to a higher ideal is as little a hypocrite 
because he has also material interests at heart, as the 
one who sees in the earthly root of human affairs, the 
budding forces of the higher spirit is a dreamer. 

It is well understood that we speak of a Jewish 
settlement in the Orient. We do not, however, mean 
to imply a total emigration of the Occidental Jews 
to Palestine. Even after the establishment of a Jew- 
ish State, the majority of the Jews who live at pres- 

NOTES 261 

ent in the civilized Occidental countries will undoubt- 
edly remain where they are. 

The Occidental Jews, who have only recently 
broken their way through to culture and have ac- 
quired an honorable civic position, will not abandon 
the valuable acquisition so quickly even if the res- 
toration of Judiea were more than a pious desire. 
Such a sacrifice of a prize acquired with great effort 
is hardly to be expected even from patriotic Jews, let 
alone the majority of our ^^educated" parvenues, who 
have succeeded in breaking off all relations with the 
Jewish family and their unfortunate brethren, and 
who are proud of the fact that they have turned their 
back on the misery of their people. Yet this will not 
prevent the nobler natures among them from interest- 
ing themselves more deeply in the people whom they 
really do not know any more, and support it in its 
historical mission, when it will have the courage to 
reclaim its ancient fatherland in a natural, human 

There has been a central unity among the Jews at 
all times, even among those who were scattered to 
the very confines of the earth. Jews have maintained 
a relation with the spiritual center wherever it was. 
No nation has ever felt as keenly the excitement go- 
ing on in the spiritual nerve-center as have the Jews. 
Every spiritual sensation spread rapidly from the 
center to the extreme periphery of the national or- 
ganism. The dispersion, even to the very ends of the 
world, had not hindered, even in antiquity, the scat- 
tered members of this remarkable people from par- 

262 NOTES 

ticipating in every national undertaking, from shar- 
ing the fortunes and misfortunes of fate. To-day, 
when distance is no more an obstacle to communica- 
tion, it is of little consequence to a Jewish State 
whether more or less of the Jewish race dwells within 
or without its borders. Already during the existence 
of the old Jewish State, many Jews lived in foreign 
countries. The Jew-hater Haman could already at 
the time of the Second Temple utter the words which 
evai to-day the enemies of the Jews constantly re- 
peat: ^^There is a nation scattered abroad and dis- 
persed among the people." However, there is hardly 
any civilized nation to-day, members of which are 
not found in foreign lands, either as foreigners or as 
naturalized citizens. As long as a Jewish State does 
not exist as a member of the civilized nations of the 
world, the Jews who live in exile must necessarily 
strive to obtain naturalization and ^^emancipation", 
though they by no means abandon the hope of the 
restoration of the Jewish State. The nations which 
are no more under the tutelage of their medissval 
Christian war lords do not for a moment hesitate to 
grant the Jews equal rights, to which they are justly 
entitled for their unexampled loyalty and fidelity to 
their nationality. 

Note X 

The Hebrew newspaper Hamiagidj which ap- 
pears in Lyck, East Prussia, prints, in its issue of 
the 26th of March, a report of a meeting held in 
Melbourne, Australia, in December, 1861, in which 

NOTES 268 

Christian as well as Jewish notables participated. 
The President, Lyons, opened the meeting and de- 
clared its purpose to be, ^Ho enable the Jews to- ac- 
quire land on Mount Zion, on which houses for the 
accommodation of Jewish pilgrims should be built, 
and that this may serve as the first step toward a 
Jewish settlement in Palestine." After him, a Jew- 
ish scholar spoke in Hebrew, an interpreter translat- 
ing his speech into English. He spoke on the same 
subject as a Jewish patriot, and his address was en- 
thusiastically received. Then a Christian minister 
addressed the audience on behalf of the restoration 
of the Jews. "To which nation," he exclaimed, 
^'should the Holy Land fall as an inheritance? To 
Turkey? She is already in the grip of death and 
her days are numbered. To France? Russia and 
England will prevent it, just as Russia and France 
will object to the rule of England; and France will 
oppose a Russian occupation. No one should in- 
herit it but the Jews, who will thus come into their 
own patrimony, the land which their ancestors had 
acquired with the assistance of God." Finally, the 
Dean of the Melbourne University declared that for 
years he had continually told his countrymen that it 
will not take long before the Jews regain possession 
of the land which belongs to them and which was 
promised to them. His joy will be great to live to 
see the first step toward the carrying out of his 
dream. And no matter how small the beginning may 
be, he was confident that it will finally lead to the 
great goal. Like the second ijpdemption from exile, 

264 NOTES 

so must also the third be effected in a natural way, 
with the help of God, and it is the sacred duty of 
Christians to help the Jews in their endeavor. It 
was then decided to appoint a Committee for the 
purpose of soliciting contributions throughout 
Australia in order to acquire land for the Jews in 
the Holy Land. 

Before this report was published in East Prussia, 
and could hardly have been generally known, there 
appeared the third part of the work of Rabbi Hirsh 
Kalischer— EwMTiofc Yeshoroh^''The Right Faith". 
The opinions of three great Jewish authorities, which 
preface it, support the view of R. Kalischer, who is 
in total agreement with the Dean of Mdboume Uni- 
versity, that the return from the third exile must 
take place in a natural manner, under the protection 
of the European powers and with the help of our in- 
fluential race-brethren who seem to have been provi- 
dentially called to their high position. "The first 
thing to-day," says the author, "is to found a Com- 
pany for Jewish colonization in Palestine, to acquire 
land and prepare it for settlement." "There is no 
greater service for the pious Jew to perform," adds 
our author, "than to rebuild the ruins of the Holy 


At the last moment, when these letters and notes 
had already left the press, my attention was called 
to Fichte's attack on the Jews, in the Kreuzzeitwngy 
and. to a similar attack which was published last 

NOTES 265 

year in Berlin, in a pamphlet, entitled, The Jews 
and the German State. 

I wish it had been possible for me to have seen this 
Christian-German product before. But as it is too 
late for detailed analysis, I wish to remark that one 
glance at the book convinced me that this anony- 
mous author, recently converted to the Ereuzzei- 
tung's party, is only a ^^speculative" atheist and 
revolutionary, with whom the German public has 
certainly little sympathy. 



i^u -f^i' * -■ 


V it 

3 2044 018 181 834